Kalayaan Job Fair uncovers demand for jobs and workers

(From left) DOLE-6 director Atty. Sixto T. Rodriguez, Jr. encourages employers to implement the wage increase faithfully and appeals for hiring of more employees. The Job Fair and the Skills Demo on Bamboo Weaving are simultaneously held during the Kalayaan Job and Business Fairs in Bacolod City.

The 2022 Kalayaan Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TNK) Job Fair held in Bacolod City confirmed not only the needs of the jobseekers for employment but also the needs of the employers for human resource enhancements.

An overwhelming 4, 568 jobseekers flocked the SM City Bacolod to look for employment while 46 local companies and 7 registered overseas recruitment agencies opened 6,186 vacancies for qualified workers.

In a media interview, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Director Atty. Sixto T. Rodriguez, Jr. said that the number of applicants is a clear manifestation of the need for jobs.

“Talagang uhaw na uhaw sila na magtrabaho.  Dahil sa pandemic, marami ang nawalan ng trabaho o na-suspend, marami yung na-terminate; mayroon ring mangilan-ngilan na nag-close establishment due to this pandemic,” Atty. Rodriguez said.

In his message, Atty. Rodriguez appealed to the participating companies to hire the employees they need to provide the much-needed employment of the jobseekers.

The participating companies responded positively and enabled the 121 HOTS (hired-on-the-spot) applicants to find a job.   The newly-hired will be deployed in the different BPOs, manpower agencies, drugstores and retailing industries.

The 1,640 near hires are also expected to boost the number of employed individuals as soon as they complied with the required documents and undergone further interviews. Of the number, 1,513 applied for local employment while 107 aimed for jobs abroad.

With the trend, Rodriguez is looking at a looming dynamic and robust labor market.

“This is a strong indication that the labor market is back to its track,” said Atty. Rodriguez, “the number of vacancies is promising for the labor market. The business and industry sectors are coming back to life and its post-pandemic needs definitely includes the labor sector.”

Rodriguez also has his eyes focused on the welfare of the informal workers and the vulnerable sectors in the region.

Through his request, a fleet of pedicab or trisikad drivers joined in the caravan and the profiled child laborers, whose parents were beneficiaries of DOLE livelihood projects, presented a heartwarming interpretative dance during the program.

According to Rodriguez, involving the marginalized workers makes them feel that the government recognizes them.  He added that DOLE and the job fair is not only for the formal sector and that more livelihood assistance and services should also be provided for the informal workers.

The Regional Office through its Negros Occidental Field Office also invited the PNP Advocacy Band to amplify the call to end child labor and to take part in World Against Child Labor sa Pilipinas which is also celebrated on June 12.

DOLE, as a frontrunner in the TNK initiative, continuously promotes employment and livelihood and is committed in its pursuit of creating decent jobs through entrepreneurship.

In coordination with the DTI, a skills demo on bamboo weaving was presented to the public.

The hands-on activity aims to develop the interest of the vulnerable sector to handicrafts-making as a source of income. Handicrafts and souvenir items are potentially profitable as they are the add-ons of Western Visayas’ tourism industry.

A lecture-forum on basic entrepreneurship for students of STI and University of Saint La Salle-Bacolod was held to broaden their ideas in entrepreneurial options.

DOLE believes that providing proper perspective of entrepreneurship among the youth helps them re-focus their attention from employment to entrepreneurship which has potentials for job generation.

The DOLE Help Desk has also assisted workers on their labor- related and workers’ welfare concerns.

The NLRC, RTWPB, NCMB, ECC, DTI, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG, POEA, OWWA, OSHC and PRC have extended their services to workers from the formal and informal sector as well as OFWs and their families.