Albay job seekers get tips on money management, workers' rights, and business startups

ALBAY, Philippines – Job seekers in this province took the chance to learn more about personal money management, workers' rights, and business starter ideas as part of the Department of Labor and Employment's (DOLE) Anniversary Job Fair.

Provided as side events at the job fair held on January 28, at least 60 people from more than 1,000 job applicants – including those hired-on-the-spot (HOTS) – spent time listening and asking questions regarding those respective topics. The mini-seminar was held in morning and afternoon batches. 

Andrea Joy Agutaya, the professional money management advisor invited by DOLE Bicol, said that you don't need to have an outright financially rewarding job to manage your money. 

She said the best way to start is to know where you are at this point. "This way, you can set realistic goals and know the efforts needed to get there," she added. 

As an example, she said, "Today you dressed up, woke up early, and prepared your credentials to find a job." 

Agutaya asked, "How can you get there (to financial security)? She said you must have a source of income which you'll have to budget.

She said it was important to know and monitor your cash flow and two questions are important in gauging this: "How much do you earn?" and "What are the things you prioritize?"

She suggested a 60-20-20 rule where 60% of your income goes towards regular expenses like your basic needs. Meanwhile, 20% would go to savings, while the other 20% would be your investment. 

With this rule in mind, "you get to discipline yourself to set aside those portions of your income and not rely on what's left for your savings," she said. 

A part of the savings must be allocated for the emergency fund, which is ideally equivalent to your three to six month expenses, she said. 

For investment, she said it must correspond with your status as a first-time employee. According to her, this may include higher education and equipment to enhance a skill that you can monetize. 

While you can't do it all at once, Agutaya explained you can adjust the 60-20-20 rule based on your situation. Starting sooner helps in this regard.

Workers' rights 

DOLE Bicol believes that as first time employees, briefing them about their rights is both necessary and essential in helping workers meet their financial goals. 

DOLE Bicol explained the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Law (RA 11058  Department Order 198-18) under the Labor Code of the Philippines which covers only the private sector. 

According to the law, employers can provide a safe and healthy workplace through capacity building of all workers. This would include the training; provision of information on OSH; use of equipment or devices with approved industry standards; and compliance with the requirements of OSH standards. 

For workers, they must be made aware of a number of things:

DOLE Bicol also shared actual situations which showed how a lack of knowledge of the law – from either the employer or employee side or from both parties – could hinder an employer in fulfilling its duty and respective employees from receiving due compensation. 

Participants were also asked what the minimum daily wage is in Bicol – answering correctly that it is at P310 – as well as what what should only be in their payslip's deductions. They were also about the computation of 13th month pay. 

Any discrepancies, DOLE said, should be communicated first to the company management. DOLE can help as a mediator in case an employee's concern is not resolved through the Single Entry Approach (SEnA) program.

The SEnA program gives workers access to a speedy, impartial, and inexpensive settlement procedure for all issues or arising from employer-employee relations A brief backgrounder on setting up business start-ups was also discussed by the Department of Trade and Industry - Bicol. 

Grant Robregado of Polangui, Albay who participated in the afternoon orientation and was hired on the spot at the fair, was thankful to DOLE Bicol for holding the job fair and its related side events.

Meanwhile, Angela Regalado, a jobseeker who also participated in the orientations, said she gained knowledge she would be able to apply after college. 

"It empowered me as a would-be employee and income earner. I hope in every job fair there would be side events meant for [adulting] orientations like these," she added. – Rappler.com