Feature: The job seekers
By Minerva BC Newman
Cebu, Philippines (15 June) -- The SM-City Trade Hall in Cebu was a beehive of activity for 3 days from June 12, 13 & 14 as more than 4000 to 5000 jobs seekers busily and practically hopped from the registration area, to the job shopping, filling out forms, screening, job matching and finally facing the recruiters for interviews for possible jobs at the government, the private sector or overseas.
This was the scene for 3 days at the 4th level of SM-City in Cebu where more than 160 companies, agencies and recruitment firms converged for a mega jobs fair where more than 37,7000 job orders from the government, private and overseas sectors were open to the public.
Fernando Quino, 28, single of barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City is an Industrial Engineer that worked with 3 manufacturing companies at the MEPZ in 2003 but was retrenched in January 2009.
"Mamasin lang ko'g apply sa Dubai or Saudi ba," (I'm trying my luck to apply for Dubai or Saudi), he said.
He hopes to get an overseas job as an industrial engineer because he said he has experience along this field.
"Bisan ug 2-3 years lang gud, unya mag save lang and then come back to the country and put up my own business," he was full of optimism.
Maya Teresa Dagkutan, 26 and single. She said it is her first time to apply for an overseas job. She wanted to apply as a tele-operator in Taiwan. She said she is still working as an accounting clerk in a private company in Cebu but she added that her salary is not enough for her and her family.
"Mas dako man gud kuno ang sweldo sa mga workers abroad," (They said that salaries are very much higher abroad), she coyly smiled.
Nena Capitan, married. She was just finished with her interview with the recruitment agency, Mercan Canada Employment Phil. Inc. She said she applied as food attendant for Canada.
She told me that this is not her first time to work abroad. She and her husband were both OFWs in Dubai and Australia in 2005 as food attendant but because she got pregnant with their first baby, she came back home to Cebu to have the baby delivered.
She said her husband is still working in Dubai she can follow him but she wants to try other countries. That is why she applied for Canada.
Jing-jing Apat has been working at the MEPZ since 1994 as contractual and laments that up to now she is still on a contractual basis.
"That is why I'm applying to try my luck abroad. Pamasin nga madawat ta kay murag dili man ko ma-regular dinhi sa Pilipinas because of the contractual scheme of employment system in the country," she said.
Fernando, Maya, Nena and Jung-jing are just among the thousands of applicants at the 3-day mega jobs fair in Cebu and in the many regions in the country. Yet, they agreed that the jobs fair have helped them greatly:
"It is a very convenient, easier and more comfortable for the job seekers, especially kay it is held in SM nga air-conditioned kaayo," Fernando said.
"Maayo unta kung himuon ni nga regular event. One-stop-shop nga jobs fair every month, nga naay SSS, PhilHealth, NSO, NBI ug uban pa. Grabe ka sayon para namo nga mga applicants," they all agreed.
"Maayo man ni nga programa sa gobiyerno kay we are being assisted in finding a job, either locally or abroad," Nena and Maya shared the same opinions.
Although many of the applicants go home without jobs, they still feel that event like this is commendable because they said it's one way of finding and matching jobs with credentials in a "one-stop-shop" ambiance.
Most of those applicants that were interviewed agreed that the 3-day mega jobs fair was indeed the right step towards the right direction of providing employment opportunities for all. (PIA-7/MBCN) [top]