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PIA Press Release

DPWH offices nationwide hold simultaneous jobs fair, offer 500,000 new jobs

By Renee F. De Guzman

Manila (19 February) -- In a bid to provide employment to workers, including overseas Filipino workers displaced by the global economic recession, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) held simultaneous job fairs Monday in their regional and district offices nationwide.

Some 500,000 jobs in various infrastructure projects all over the country were made available for the workers, according to the DPWH.

The nationwide jobs fair is part of President Arroyo's job generation program aimed to provide gainful employment to workers displaced or affected by the current global recession. The jobs fair is also intended to provide fiscal stimulus to spur economic growth in the locality as employment shall increase spending power and probable opportunity to save.

Labor statistics showed that some 40,000 people have already lost their jobs from October to January 2009.

DPWH said that 30 percent of the 500,000 required workers would be skilled workers, another 50 percent unskilled workers. The remaining 20 percent would come from the construction firms.

The DPWH is also set to enter a landmark memo of agreement on Monday with the National Constructors Association of the Philippines (NACAP), Philippine Construction Association of the Philippines (PCA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

In the memorandum, the DPWH will serve as the conduit between the contractors and the job applicants.

The DPWH will assess the job seeker's capabilities and work assignment and match them with the needs of the contractors.

The task of the DOLE on the other hand, is to ensure that the hired workers' rights, salaries and other benefits are well protected.

To spare the applicants from the high cost of transportation and board and lodging, they will be assigned to projects in their localities.

For the next 10 months, the DPWH have lined up 4,000 to 5,000 projects of which 1,200 have already been bid out. For the first semester of this year, the DPWH has set aside P60 billion and for the second half, P48 billion has been allotted.

The employed workers will construct, maintain, repair and rehabilitate 29,925.96 kilometers of national roads. They will build and fix existing bridges, school buildings, farm-to-market roads and flood control projects.

The job openings will be for civil engineers, foremen, surveyors, masons, painters, steelmen, operators of heavy equipment, drivers, carpenters, and other positions. The DPWH will also hire 27,222 people every month from the Out-of-School Youth Serving Toward Economic Recovery (OYSTER) to work as street sweepers, roadside, traffic, and shoulder maintenance crew.

In the Ilocos Region, the DPWH Regional Office and its district offices are all set for the nationwide simultaneous jobs fair on Monday.

Some 37,000 jobs in various infrastructure projects are available all over the region. Each of the region's ten districts will have 3,700 job openings.

Interested applicants are advised to proceed to the DPWH district office in their area. (PIA La Union) [top]

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