PH labor mismatch due to lack of jobs road map – advocates

Mara Cepeda
PH labor mismatch due to lack of jobs road map – advocates

EPA

A recent Department of Labor and Employment study shows 3 out of 4 locally employed Filipinos prefer jobs in their home region instead of another part of the country

MANILA, Philippines – Congressional candidates for the May polls who are pushing for labor reforms said jobs mismatch remains a problem because the country does not have a long-term jobs road map.

Perennial ‘yang problema na ‘yan. Wala kasing regional and national jobs road map. Ibig sabihin, nasaan ‘yung mga industrial zones natin? Nasaan ‘yung potential industrial zones pa? Isama mo na rin ‘yung Mindanao. Dapat meron ding Bangsamoro jobs road map para specific sa needs nila,” said senatorial candidate Susan “Toots” Ople during a labor forum organized by the National Anti-Poverty Commission on Wednesday, March 30.

(That’s a perennial problem. We do not have a regional and national jobs road map. Where are our industrial zones? Where are our potential industrial zones? You should also include Mindanao. There should be a Bangsamoro jobs road map that will be specific to their needs.)

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said earlier this month that only 10 out of 1,000 Filipino applicants are getting hired because many lack the necessary skills needed for the jobs available in the market. 

“The vacancies are really out there waiting for the qualified job applicants. Our biggest problem is the jobs and skills mismatch. It is only now that we’re aligning our education and training systems with the industry requirements using international benchmarked standards,” said Baldoz in a statement.  

According to Sanlakas party-list representative first nominee Leody de Guzman, this is because the country’s local economy relies heavily on the economies of foreign countries.  

Tayong mga Pilipino, hindi naman tayo nasa isang concentration camp na makikinig lamang tayo sa ibang bansa kung anong trabaho ang kailangan nila (We Filipinos are not in a concentration camp that we should just wait for foreign countries to tell us what jobs they need),” said de Guzman. 

“Hangga’t di natin napapaunlad ang ating sariling ekonomiya, talagang ‘yang usapin ng mismatch ay mangyayari (As long as we can’t improve our local economy, jobs mismatch will continue happening),” he added. 

Empower LGUs to give jobs

So what can be done to address the country’s long-standing jobs mismatch problem?

Akbayan party-list first nominee Tom Villarin said more funds should be allotted for local government units (LGUs), who can then create projects and livelihood programs specific to the needs of their constituents. (READ: NEDA: More Filipinos employed in Jan 2016

Ang problema ngayon ay most of the jobs are centered in the urban areas, especially the National Capital Region. Hindi natin nadi-distribute, nade-decentralize ‘yung job generation,” said Villarin. 

(The problem now is that most jobs are centered in the urban areas, especially in the National Capital Region. We’re neither distributing nor decentralizing job generation.) 

“There should be more money given to the LGUs,” he added. 

Villarin cited a recent study conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment and Jobstreet that says 3 out of 4 locally employed Filipinos would rather accept jobs in their home region than work in another part of the country.  

The same survey shows that two out of 3 Filipinos are currently working in their respective localities. 

Partido ng mga Manggagawa party-list first nominee Rene Magtubo also said the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority should ensure that Filipinos are being trained for the in-demand jobs in the country.

Edukasyon.ph founder Henry Motte-Muñoz previously listed some in-demand yet hard-to-fill careers, including doctors, engineers, accountants, computer programmers, web developers, draftsmen, animators, agriculturists, electricians, and teachers. – Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.