To maximize its contributions to job generation, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has embarked on bold undertakings this year aimed at facilitating the employment of Filipino workers locally and overseas.
Facilitating employment is being carried out by the DOLE through the regulation and provision of placement services for Filipino workers seeking local and overseas jobs. At the backbone of this strategy is the network of Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs) set up by the DOLE in key municipalities and provinces of the country.
The PESOs solicit vacancies and provide referral services to job applicants. They also conduct jobs fairs that bring together employers and workers in one place to hasten the matching of jobs and skills and the placement of workers.
From January to October this year, the PESOs solicited a total of 789,779 vacancies. About 566,561 applicants were referred to these vacancies, out of which, 410,132 were placed.
To improve PESO operations, the DOLE laid during the year the foundation for the development of the PESO Web Portal that would connect the PESO network and enable jobseekers to access and apply for vacancies posted in all PESOs nationwide. This PESO interconnectivity would bring workers in regions where their skills are needed, thus, enhancing the facilitation of placement and skills and jobs matching.
During the first 10 months of 2005, the DOLE, in coordination with the PESOs and the private sector, also conducted a total of 566 jobs fairs, which offered 769,429 vacancies including overseas job opportunities. Some 23,295 workers were hired on the spot. The other applicants who came to the fairs were placed later after meeting certain application requirements.
Meantime, the Phil-Jobnet system continued to serve both workers and employers seeking jobs and skills, respectively, through the Internet. An online skills and matching system functioning as the country’s basic labor market information (LMI) system, the Phil-Jobnet allows employers to post their vacancies in the system while providing jobseekers easy access to these vacancies for free. At any given time, the system displays about 20,000 to 30,000 vacancies. Views on the system, at http://phil-jobnet.dole.gov.ph/, average 18,376 daily, indicating that thousands of workers are accessing the system everyday.
To enhance the Phil-Jobnet and benefit more workers especially in areas where they don’t have constant information on job opportunities, the DOLE launched on this year’s Labor Day the country’s first job search facility through the use of the short messaging system (SMS) or simply through text messaging. The new SMS facility called “Trabaho…I – Text Mo,” workers may inquire on vacancies posted in the Phil-Jobnet. It may be accessed by simply typing Trabaho and sending it to 2476 for Smart subscribers or 2376 for Globe subscribers. Since its launching up to October, 2005, the SMS facility received a total of 117,316 text messages/inquiries from interested workers averaging 19,552.66 on a monthly basis 651.755 per day.
Another innovative move of the DOLE to find jobs for the workers was the conduct of the DOLE Labor Opportunities Program (DOLOP) on November 8-11, 2005 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). Designed as an in-bound marketing activity to promote the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and showcase their skills and talents, the DOLOP brought together in one forum foreign employers wanting to hire Filipino specialists, workers, and seafarers.
Private recruitment and manning agencies and jobseekers, as well as government and private agencies and companies involved in human resource development and other stakeholders in local and overseas employment programs were likewise present at the forum. The forum was highlighted by two visits of no less than President Macapagal Arroyo and a Jobs Fair, which offered 15,462 overseas vacancies to walk-in applicants.
A total of 218 exhibitors including 189 licensed recruitment agencies participated in the DOLOP. About 50 foreign employers visited the event at PICC 15 of whom submitted documents indicating their desire to recruit Filipino workers for overseas jobs.
During the event, some 81 outstanding foreign employers of land-based OFWs were given Ministerial Citations by Labor and Employment Secretary Patricia A. Sto. Tomas. The Secretary also conferred the same citation to 56 outstanding principals of Filipino seafarers. At the same time, 35 outstanding foreign employers of land-based Filipino workers including 25 principals of Filipino seafarers, seven maritime associations and eight shipping executives were conferred the Presidential Award of Distinction.
Apart from the DOLOP, marketing missions were dispatched to promote Filipino skills and locate overseas job opportunities for Filipino workers. A highly successful event was the joint government-private sector marketing mission to the Middle East on Sept. 22-30, 2005. The joint effort promoted the employment of Filipinos in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, and Bahrain. Construction and other projects are booming in the three States, with Qatar gearing for the Asian Games in December 2006. Two government missions were also sent to Taiwan, Cyprus, and UAE in a bid to enhance the OFWs’ access to jobs in these countries.
Meanwhile, a Regional Labor Conference of Middle East-based Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) was held in Dubai, UAE, also as part of the efforts to identify and expand markets for Filipino workers abroad. A Marketing Forum was also held in April 2005 at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration in Ortigas, Mandaluyong City to guide service providers on global employment opportunities in traditional and emerging markets for OFWs.
source: Information and Publication Service