More than 2,000 jobseekers were hired on the spot, while 7,000 others were considered as near-hires during the nationwide Trabaho Negosyo Kabuhayan Job and Business Fairs in observance of Labor Day.
Meanwhile, Sen. Joel Villanueva said a “post-pandemic Filipino workforce” was emerging in the country coming from the past two years, and that government policies should catch up in addressing their concerns.
Labor secretary Silvestre Bello III on Monday said the day job fairs was one of the government’s efforts toward employment recovery. At least 1,076 employers participated in the events, and offered a total of 153,397 local and
overseas jobs. It was the first-ever nationwide onsite job fair since the onset of the pandemic.
About19,730 applicants trooped to the various job fair sites, of which 2,262 were hired on the spot, mostly for the positions of production operator, cashier, sales associate, and sales clerk.
Moreover, 7,907 applicants were scheduled for further interviews. They may be eventually hired, depending on the outcome of their interview and compliance with the pre-employment requirements of the hiring company.
Meanwhile, 463 applicants were referred to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority for skills training, while 507 were referred to the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns for livelihood training/assistance, and 348 others were referred to the Department of Trade and Industry for business inquiries and concerns.
Bello led the Labor Day activities, which included the Trabaho Negosyo Kabuhayan Job and Business Fair and the 2022 Task Group on Economic Recovery–National Employment Recovery Strategy Labor Day Job Summit at the Kingsborough International Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.
On the same day, Bello awarded livelihood grants to DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program beneficiaries and Safety Seal
Certificates to compliant establishments.
A total of P4.6 million worth of livelihood assistance was awarded to 293 Kapampangan beneficiaries composed of marginalized women, indigenous people, self-employed individuals with low income, and parents of child laborers.
Meanwhile, nine establishments, namely: Superl Philippines Inc., Siglo Leatherware Manufacturing Inc., San Miguel Food, Inc.–BMEG Tarlac Plant, Mekeni Food Corporation, GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co., Essilor Manufacturing Philippines, Inc., Belmont Softgel Pharma Corporation, Angeles Alliance Manufacturing Inc., and BFD Global Footwear Manufacturing Inc. received Safety Seal Certificates for their compliance with the minimum public health standards and other requirements of the government’s Safety Seal Certification Program.
“We are seeing the rise of health and well-being as a priority in the Filipino workplace because of the pandemic,” said Villanueva.
He said It has reached a level where employees will resign or change jobs if employers do not meet employees’ expectations of a workplace, which is taking care of employees’ physical and mental health, as well as work-life balance.
The senator cited a recent 2022 World Trend Index (WTI) by the technology company Microsoft, where it was reported that nearly half or 49% of Filipino employees hired during the pandemic are already considering changing jobs.
The survey also reported that 67 percent of Filipino workers were likely to prioritize their health and well-being over work more than before the pandemic, higher than the global trend of 53 percent.
The WTI also found that 20 percent of Filipino workers said they actually left their jobs in the past year.
“Our task now as policy makers is to figure out how to maintain productivity and grow the economy while accommodating the changes in the physical, mental, and emotional needs of the workforce,” Villanueva said.
According to the report, the 2022 Work Trend Index outlines findings from a study of 31,000 people in 31 countries, with at least 1,000 full-time workers as respondents coming from the Philippines.
The author and sponsor of the Work From Home Law also noted that 60% of Filipino workers in the survey say they are considering a switch to remote or hybrid work in the next year.
Yet the same study found that 69% of business leaders in the country say their company is planning to require employees to work in-person full time within the next year, and only 38% of them have created arrangements with their employees for alternative work arrangements.
Villanueva warned that the government and its policies “should not be out of touch” with the current mindset of the “post-pandemic Filipino workforce” and proactively anticipate broad changes in their needs and behaviors.
“We should act fast and think progressively to close this disconnect between the interests of industry and workers. For example, businesses should work with the government for the full implementation of the Work From Home Law. We also have the Tulong Trabaho Law for skills training and upskilling our workers for whatever job they want.
“We must understand that employees nowadays do not work for wages alone,” Villanueva said.
The senator also noted the recent decision made by Concentrix, a BPO firm of 100,000 workers in the country, to maintain work from home or hybrid work arrangements for their employees rather than avail of tax incentives from the government.
Concentrix reportedly made this decision after the Fiscal Incentives Review Board gave BPOs the ultimatum for their employees to physically return to working in their offices starting April 1 or lose tax incentives under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law.
“It’s a classic case of the government falling behind innovations. The innovation that we need now should be focused to benefit the post-pandemic workforce. Concentrix should be emulated rather than penalized for listening to their employees,” the senator said.
Villanueva’s Work From Home Law or Republic Act 11165 was enacted back in 2019 to promote alternative work arrangements primarily to address the daily problem of commuting and travel for workers whose work can
be done remotely from the office. It has gained even more significance in the past two years as a means to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.