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PIA Press Release

PIA-Cebu forum to tackle gov't measures amid rising unemployment due to crisis

Cebu City (10 February) -- A forum initiated by the Philippine Information Agency in Cebu (PIA-Cebu) will tackle on the current financial crisis worldwide that has resulted to massive lay-offs and retrenchment and the measures employed by the government to address the growing unemployment to alleviate the situation.

The PIA Kapihan is slated tomorrow where top officials from the DOLE, Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) are invited as main panelists.

This year will witnessed an abundance of job cuts in the wake of the global economic crisis hitting hard export-oriented industries where presently, nearly 2,000 workers have lost their jobs in the region while 42 companies have closed down, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-7).

DOLE on the other hand, has stated that for the first six months of 2009, 200,000 workers nationwide stand to lose their jobs.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has already ordered concerned government agencies to come up with measures to assist laid-off workers and create employment here and abroad.

The forum on the other hand, will discuss on the safety measures and programs that have been laid out by the DOLE-7 to curb rising unemployment in the region and the programs of the OWWA-7 for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) that have been forced to come back home due to loss of jobs abroad.

The POEA-7 will likewise inform any job openings abroad where qualified workers can apply for.

DOLE-7 Regional Director Elais Cayanong has previously bared it is closely working with TESDA-7 to refer displaced workers to avail of skills training programs at TESDA to equip them with adequate skills and apply for needed jobs in the market.

As employment generation is a priority thrust of the Arroyo Administration, the President is also scouting for new job markets overseas for our Filipino workforce as a means to mitigate the impact of the global economic meltdown.

Efforts to look for new jobs overseas has yielded positive results as the POEA recently announced that 10,000 workers are needed in South Australia this year.

POEA Administrator Jennifer Jardin-Manalili said displaced OFWs may seek employment in South Australia that will hire thousands of Filipino construction workers, welders and pipe-fitters for its road rehabilitation projects in the next 10 years.

The projects is said to last until 2018 with manpower requirements estimated to reach 133,000. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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