JUST RECENTLY, the local government of Jose Panganiban initiated a jobs fair targeting potential local workers for employment.
It was carried out with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine Overseas Employment Authority (POEA), private companies and job recruitment agencies.
The private firms that sent its hiring teams were the Lakas Tao Contract Service Ltd, a recruitment agency, IPAMS, Global-Expert Management.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) was also on hand to help in matters concerning clearances.
The whole process was coordinated by PESO-Labo, through its manager Arlene V Mariano.
The recruitment companies came to do just one thing: look for workers either for local or overseas jobs.
To do this, they sized up the work skills of the applicants, matched them with jobs available on their network of employers and discussed the terms and a condition of employment such as salaries, benefits and recruitment fees, once hiring is done.
Job fairs like this are venues where the jobless could go, assuming that they got what it takes - training, education, experience and all.
In Mambulao, there has been a growing army of jobless youth and adults who could not find gainful employment as they lacked the trade skills required.
The most accessible source of employment for them would always be the environment-destroyer gold mining enterprises around the municipality.
There’s not much skill needed here – all you need are muscles to haul off tons and tons of gold-laden earth and sturdy hands and arms to swing shovels, pick and iron bar into the pit. And of course, some common sense.
But as expected, one only gets peanuts for his sweat, just enough for his family to get by the next day.
Aware of this, Mayor Ricarte Padilla initiated a skills training program last year targeting many “istambay” and jobless in Larap, Pag-asa, Sta Elena, Sta Milagrosa, Calero, Parang and those in the poblacion.
He set up a Tesda-inspired technical school in honor of his father, the late Governor Roy Padilla Sr, in Larap where many of the jobless youth could also be found.
Padilla was not surprised that the first batch of the recruit number more than 200.
Without really stressing on this, the JPLGU paid for their training.
It is an investment ventured into by the LGU – a big risk, so to speak -- to reduce the number of “istambay” in Mambulao, help them join a gainfully-employed workforce to support their families – money-wise.
In the end, it would be the entire community that would benefit – economically at that.
When the jobs fair was carried out on July 30-31 at the RP Memorial Stadium, which sits just behind the spruced up town hall, it was an event hailed by many, the job-seekers most specially.
More or less, it would be felt that the municipal government through Padilla, really cared for them.
Was the jobs fair staged to provide employment to the locals, especially the recently graduated 106 Tesda-Larap trainees?
Padilla told MWBuzz sometime ago that a number of those graduates took OJT with some companies in Metro Manila for possible permanent jobs, while others landed occasional works elsewhere in the province.
The point here is that since after their Tesda training, they have become busy earning a living and a zero-burden to the community.
To really effect a significant change in the lives of the Tesda-Labo graduates, there would be a sense for the mayor to arrange their automatic hiring in companies looking for such skills.
The JP-LGU should not think twice about doing this.
After all, these Tesda-Labo graduates are assets of the municipal government, having invested money and resources in their skills training.
And with his Tesda training, a graduate is fully-equipped with the skill to do a job efficiently as expected by his employer.
So, when another next jobs fair comes to Mambulao next year, we can only hope that the next batch of Tesda-Larap graduates coming for work would get hired automatically.
That is assuming Padilla would still be around as mayor.
-- Alfredo P Hernandez