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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Jobs and skills fair assists GFC-affected workers in southern Philippines

In response to the global financial crisis (GFC), the government in partnership with private sector employers pushed through with a successful jobs, livelihood and skills fair assisting affected local and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), with no less than the President gracing the event Thursday in Cagayan de Oro City.

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said the jobs fair was facilitated by the DOLE Regional Office No. 10 and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Roque and POEA Administrator Jennifer Manalili, together with Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrator Carmelita Dimzon, joined President Arroyo in personally observing the event.

The job fair was held simultaneously with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority’s (TESDA) “Jobs Bridging, Skills Retraining” at the SM City Cagayan de Oro.

By mid-day Thursday, about 44 displaced workers due to the global economic crisis were hired on-the spot for redeployment to the Middle East with 1,155 job seekers registered, of which 115 were displaced OFWs.

Roque said 40 recruitment agencies, 62 government agencies, and 35 “Tek-Bok” (Technical-vocational) providers participated in the 1-day event.

Roque appreciated the effort of the DOLE agency in charge of the development of the country’s manpower resources in complementing the efforts of its sister agencies in the Department to facilitate employment thus complementing the DOLE-led local and global efforts in response to the GFC.

The Labor Chief emphasized that the active, onsite presence of no less than Her Excellency, President Macapagal-Arroyo in the Mindanao area in time for the event, underscores the importance of her Administration’s thrust to bring the basic services of the government such as jobs fairs and training closer to the affected workers and the public to alleviate the effects of the GFC.

On the same occasion, President Arroyo also handed over P1.2 million fund to at least three beneficiary municipalities under DOLE’s Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) and Integrated Services for Livelihood Advancement (ISLA) projects under the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Assistance (CLEEP) program of the Arroyo administration both for workers displaced by the effects of the global crisis and other unemployed.

Beneficiaries are the towns of Linamon (P313,500), Kolambugan (P313,500) and Sultan Naga Dimaporo (P573,000), all in Lanao del Norte, for a total of 203 workers.
The Labor Chief added that other DOLE frontline agencies involved in the fight against the global financial crisis, such as the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), and the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), provided crucial support in the jobs and skills event, complement by key tech-voc institutions and enterprise partners in the area.

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