Madel Garzo, 26, used to think that job fairs were being used as a strategy by politicians to win votes during elections.


“Wala naman kaming napapala diyan,” the AB political science graduate admitted.


But all of that changed when she participated in the jobs fair initiated by Urdaneta City in 2013 in celebration of its charter day. During that time, Madel just lost her job. A friend told her that the local government unit of Urdaneta City was set to hold jobs fair, in coordination with the field office of the Department of Labor and Employment in Rosales, Pangasinan, and a mall in the city.


“I was determined to land a new job because my savings was not enough to sustain extensive job hunting,” she said.


Certified HOTS
As she hoped and worked for, Madel was among those who were HOTS (hired on the spot) during the activity. She was immediately employed as an administrative clerk at the Human Resource Unit of the Staff Search Asia Service Cooperative in Urdaneta.


Two years after, she was promoted to the position of HR Recruitment Specialist, an achievement she attributes to her hard work and dedication, and of course, to her regained trust in jobs fair.


Now, Madel earns double her initial salary and represents her company during jobs fair conducted in the eastern region of Pangasinan. Madel was also happy to share that she helped her father—a welder—put up a micro welding business in their hometown of Lingayen.


Ako na po mismo ang patunay na malaki po ang naitutulong ng jobs fair sa mga naghahanap ng trabaho. Sana ay magpatuloy po ang programang ito,” she said, adding that her older sister was also able to find overseas employment in Taiwan after participating in jobs fair.


Determination pays off
Madel’s determination characterizes what DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz shared in her commencement address to the March 2016 graduates of the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) Mid La Union Campus. The Secretary refers this willpower as a balance of both the “hard” and “soft” skills that make it easier for employers to hire qualified workers.


“This balancing act combines one’s responsibility and accountability to showcase our talents, gifts, skills, and competencies with the right character and values which are all God-given, to bring honor and praise not for ourselves, but for God and our country. It is one very important character trait—the so called ‘soft skill’—that a worker has to learn and possess if he or she has to be a winner,” the Secretary told the graduates.


She also profoundly advised job seekers that after graduation, they should not be very choosy and should look first for jobs in the domestic labor market, not abroad.


“Don’t be duped by illegal recruiters who will offer you jobs abroad because you need to have at least two years of work experience to land a good and decent position overseas. The objective in looking for a job here at home is not merely to earn a living, but to gain experience. Pay is only secondary. It is the work experience as a ‘first timer’ that will give you later the valuable passport to better jobs with better pay,” said Baldoz.


More job fairs in the pipeline
According to DOLE-Regional Office I Director Grace Ursua, the jobs fair program of the DOLE was conceptualized to deliver the needs of jobseekers like Madel who, aside from being jobless, do not have sufficient resources to hop from one company to another to find employment.


“Jobseekers are encouraged to regularly check the DOLE-RO I website and official Facebook account Dole Ilocos Region for updates on job fair schedules. There will be more announcements as we move closer towards the end of first half of the year,” Director Ursua said.


The regional director said job fairs are intended to facilitate the employment of jobseekers where they can meet in one venue several employers who are looking for applicants who can fill up their vacancies. “This lessens the costs that might be incurred by the jobseekers,” she added.


Ursua also shared DOLE’s efforts, together with its partners, in making it easy for jobseekers to land jobs that suit their credentials, skills and interests and for employers to find the right workers who can help them achieve their business goals. The conduct of jobs fair and career guidance advocacy program (CGAP), according further to the Director, are being further strengthened this season where thousands will be joining the labor force after the graduation season.


2nd Quarter nationwide jobs fair
As post-graduation season reels off, DOLE has scheduled the following nationwide regular jobs fairs this second quarter of 2016:


April 2016


Cordillera Administrative Region: 29 April – University of Baguio Annual Job Fair, UB Centennial Hall;


Region III: 12 April – NEUST Job Fair, NEUST Sumacab Campus; Job Fair “Trabaho sa Bawat Pilipino”, Pilar Municipal Covered Court, Pilar, Bataan; Araullo University Job Fair, University Gymnasium; 14 April – STI College Balagtas and Malolos Career Expo 2016, Multi-Purpose Hall, STI Balagtas Campus, Mc Arthur Highway, Balagtas, Bulacan; 20 April – Talavera PESO Job Fair, RF Gatchalian, Talavera N.E.; 29 April – WUP Annual Job Fair, Wesleyan University Cabanatuan City; 30 April – CMB Job Fair, Robinson’s Starmills, City of San Fernando, Pampanga;


Region IV-A: 7 April – PESO Calamba Job Fair, Calamba City Hall; 14 April – PESO Calamba Job Fair, Calamba City Hall; 15 April – PESO Los Baños Laguna Job Fair, Bayog, Los Baños, Laguna; 16 April – PESO Cabuyao City Laguna Job Fair, Covered Court, Brgy. Banay-Banay, Cabuyao City, Laguna; 18 April – PESO Biñan Job Fair, Pavilion Mall, Biñan City, Laguna; 21 April – PESO Calamba Job Fair, Calamba City Hall; 22 April – PESO Biñan Job Fair, PUP, Biñan, Laguna; 29 April – PESO Los Banos Job Fair, Gabaldon Hall, Los Banos;


Region V: 16 April – LGU Irosin/ PESO Irosin Job Fair, Irosin Central School, San Julian, Irosin, Sorsogon;


Region VI: 1 April – PESO-Iloilo City / St. Therese MTC- Colleges-La Fiesta Job Fair, St. Therese-MTC Colleges Multi-Purpose Hall, Iloilo City; 8 April – Job Fair Manuel Y. Torres Memorial Coliseum, Bago City, Neg. Occ.; 16-17 April – Panaad Job Fair, Panaad Park & Stadium, Mansilingan, Bacolod City; 20-21 April – PESO-Iloilo City / Ayala Corporation Job Fair, Ayala Atria, Mandurriao, Iloilo City; 21-22 April – Philippine Call Center Institute Job Fair, Amigo Mall Activity Area, Iloilo City;


Region IX: 21 April – Job Fair Isabela City Gymnasium, Isabela City;


Region XI: 1 April – Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology, DOSCST Gymnasium, Mati City; UM Panabo College Job Fair, Panabo City; 8 April – St. Mary’s College of Tagum Job Fair, SMC Old Function Hall, Tagum City; 11-12 April – Tagum City Jobstart Registration and Mini Job Fair, New City Hall Atrium, Apokon, Tagum City; 20 April – Assumption College of Nabunturan, School Gymnasium, Nabunturan, Comval Province;


Region XII: 5 April – University of Southern Mindanao Kabacan Job Fair, Kabacan, Cotabato; 12 April – 16th Job Fair, KCC Mall Events & Convention Center, J. Catolico Avenue, General Santos City; 20 April – LGU Pigcawayan Job Fair, Pigcawayan Municipal Gym; 29 April – Mini Job Fair, New City Hall, Koronadal City;


May 2016


Region III: 1 May – Provincial PESO of Nueva Ecija Labor Day Job Fair 2016, Freedom Park Cabanatuan City; PESO Cabanatuan Labor Day Job Fair, SM City Cabanatuan, Maharlika Highway Cab.City;


Region IV-A: 1 May – Labor Day Job Fair, SM Calamba; PESO Cabuyao City Laguna Job Fair, Waltermart Cabuyao, Brgy. Banlic, Cabuyao City, Laguna; 7 May – PESO Biñan Job Fair, Brgy. Timbao, Biñan City, Laguna; 12 May – PESO Los Baños Laguna Job Fair, San Antonio, Los Baños, Laguna; 21 May – PESO Calamba Job Fair, Calamba City Hall; 22 May – PESO Biñan Job Fair, Brgy. Casile, Biñan City,Laguna; 26 May – PESO Calamba Job Fair, Calamba City Hall; 27 May – PESO Los Banos Job Fair, Gabaldon Hall, Los Banos; 29 May –PESO Biñan Job Fair, Brgy. Ganado, Biñan City, Laguna;


Region V: 16-17 May – LGU Bulan Job Fair, Sabang Park Pavilion, Zone 2, Bulan, Sorsogon;


Region XII: 27 May – Mini Job Fair, New City Hall, Koronadal City;


Region XIII: 1 May – Labor Day Job Fair, DOLE Agusan del Norte Field Office, JP Rosales Ave., Butuan City; Labor Day Job Fair, DOLE Agusan del Sur Field Office, San Francisco, Agusan del Sur; Labor Day Job Fair, DOLE Surigao del Sur Field Office, Tandag City, Surigao del Sur;


June 2016


Cordillera Administrative Region: 18 June – Municipal Jobs Fair, Pasil, Kalinga; 21-22 June – City Jobs Fair, Tabuk City;


Region IV-A: 9 June – PESO Calamba Job Fair, Calamba City Hall; 11 June – PESO Cabuyao City Laguna Job Fair, Covered Court, Brgy. Niugan, Cabuyao City, Laguna; 16 June – PESO Calamba Job Fair, Calamba City Hall; 23 June – PESO Calamba Job Fair, Calamba City Hall; 30 June – PESO Calamba Job Fair, Calamba City Hall


Region XI: 22 June – Municipality of Maco Job Fair, Maco Gymnasium, Maco, Comval Province;


Region XII: 17 June – Job Fair, Municipal Hall Lobby, Tampakan, South Cotabato; 20 June – Job Fair, Municipal Ground, Surallah, South Cotabato; 24 June – Mini Job Fair, New City Hall, Koronadal City;


Region XIII: 12 June – Kalayaan Job Fair, DOLE Regional Office, JP Rosales Ave., Butuan City; 14-15 June –Job Fair, Naliyagan Cultural Center, Patin-Ay, Agusan del Sur; 20 June – Job Fair, LGU Tandag; 22 June – Job Fair, Municipal Lobby, San Francisco, Agusan del Sur; 23-24 June – Job Fair, Gymnasium, Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur;


Aside from the nationwide job fairs conducted by DOLE through its regional and provincial offices, jobseekers looking for employment opportunities and other labor market information can also access the DOLE PhilJobnet’s Job Search Kiosks located in Public Employment Service Office, DOLE central office, bureau, attached agencies, regional and field offices, Commission on Higher Education, and selected schools in the country.


END/GSR/Arly Sta. Ana-Valdez

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