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DOLE offering 80,000 jobs in Labor Day fair

MANILA, Philippines - At least 80,000 jobs are up for grabs in the biggest job fair to be mounted on Labor Day on Friday, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported.

Labor Undersecretary Reydeluz Conferido said over the weekend that more than 80,000 jobs would be offered to new graduates and other job seekers who will participate in the Labor Day job fair.

“About 300 employers have committed to provide employment opportunities for new graduates, displaced workers and other job seekers,” Conferido said in an interview.

But with the prevailing economic crisis that has adversely affected over 100,000 workers nationwide, the number of employment opportunities is still expected to be fewer than the job seekers.

Conferido said as much as 120,000 job seekers are expected to vie for the 80,000 available jobs.

“So far, more than 10,000 job seekers, mostly new graduates, have already pre-registered for the available positions,” he said.

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He expressed confidence that many of the job applicants will find regular employment through the job fair.

DOLE, supported by various trade unions and private companies, launched a month- long job fair last March, which will culminate on May 1 at the SMX Convention Hall in Pasay City.

In the past jobs fair, only few workers were hired on the spot because of difficulty in completing the assessment of the qualifications of applicants and securing all the necessary requirements.

“It usually takes a day to assess the qualification, so this time we are giving the applicants more time to submit their resume so that employers can assess them,” Conferido said.

He added that DOLE would also undertake skills training during the month-long event to address the problem of mismatch of the needed and the available skills.

He noted that employment opportunities would be the government’s main gift for workers on Labor Day.

“The coming Labor Day is all about jobs and wage adjustment will not be the focus because of the economic crisis,” Conferido said.

Seeking ‘divine intervention’

Meanwhile, leaders of various labor groups will meet with Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales and other Metro Manila bishops today to come up with plans to help mitigate the effects of the global financial crisis on Filipino workers.

Federation of Free Workers (FFW) information officer Julius Arganoza said the labor groups have sought the support of Rosales and other bishops from Metro Manila to intervene on their cause.

“We asked for a meeting with Cardinal Rosales and the Metro bishops to request for their intervention to help us on our concerns on labor in particular the unemployment insurance package,” Arganoza said.

The meeting would be held at 9 a.m. at the Pope Pius Center in Paco, Manila.

Arganoza said the bishops have shown concern on their issues.

Aside from FFW, other labor groups that are expected to attend the meeting include the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), Partido ng Manggagawa and Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP).

Manila Auxiliary Bishops Broderick Pabillo and Bernardino Cortez, Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias, Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iniguez, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco and Pasig Bishop Francisco San Diego are expected to grace the occasion. — Helen Flores

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