MANILA - The government is anticipating an increase in jobless Filipinos following the onset of the college graduation season.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz on Thursday said they will soon make available the schedules of more job fairs to help fresh graduates get jobs.
"Unang-unang nga po, kami, on our part, nai-release na po namin. I think up to July, kailangan ho naming mai-release talaga ‘yung jobs fair—‘yung schedule po, saan po ang venue, and then ano ho ‘yung mga job vacancies na available sa jobs fair," she said. "Kasi, ‘yun nga po, mami-minimize po ‘yung jobs fair time nila, so talagang down to the provinces po sila para mae-engganyo po sila. Kasi kung may gastos pa po ng malaki just to go in the cities or aming mga regional offices, dis-incentive pa rin po ‘yon sa kanila para sila po ay maghanap ng trabaho, so ‘yon po ang ginagawa namin," she said.
Baldoz said the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is also offering further training for those who need it for the jobs they want.
“Ang alam ko po mga 600,000 to 700,000 po ‘yung new entrants sa labor force. So wala po kami talagang study pa, say, how much of those (entrants) would immediately look for jobs.”
Baldoz disputed observations that the economic growth of the country has not created jobs.
“Iyun pong issue ng jobless growth, ‘pag tayo po ay nag-backtrack up to 2010, hindi naman po talaga zero growth. Kasi meron po tayong increases, say, (in) 2010, 2.8 (percent); 2011, 3.2 (percent); 2012, 1.1 percent; and 2013, 0.8 percent; and just the first quarter (of 2014), 0.8 percent din po.
"So ang ibig sabihin po, on absolute figures meron tayong naki-create—‘yan po ang figures—2010, 974,000; 2011, 1.157 million; and 2012, 408,000; and 2013, 317,000; so ngayong first quarter po, naka-283,000 po tayo—net employment po ‘yan, meaning, new additional jobs po ‘yan.”
She said the jobs created cannot cope with the size of the labor force. "So parang nagba-balanse lang po siya, o steady po ‘yung unemployment natin, and it continues to be a big challenge sa sino man po ang umupo sa gobyerno."
"Kasi, tabla-tabla lang po, two percent ho ‘yung pumapasok sa labor force; two percent din lang ho ‘yung naki-create annually; at lumalabas po na year-on-year unchanged po siya at about seven percent—so ‘yon po—and then ‘pag tiningnan po natin on a quarterly basis, nagfu-fluctuate pa po ‘yung seven percent."
Baldoz also noted that the number of self-employed and unpaid family workers has dropped as the numbers of wage workers has risen.
She said there are other challenges in the labor sector.
"Napakabagal po ang school-to-work transition. Ang Asian Development Bank (ADB) po ay nagkaroon ng study at sinasabi po doon it takes one year for a college graduate to find his first job, and two years to find a regular job.
"Pagdating po sa high school leavers, three years to get his first-time job, and then four years to find ‘yung regular job. And so, pati po ‘yung factors influencing both the length and the quality of the school-to-work transition, in-identify po doon—of course, education.”
Baldoz said many unemployed are in the agriculture sector.
NO WAGE HIKE IN METRO MANILA
Baldoz, meanwhile, said no wage hikes may be imposed in the National Capital Region this year.
Wage hikes have to be approved upon the filing of a proper petition before a regional wage board.
“Aware na po ang ating mga unions, usually sila po ang nagpe-petition, na they have to wait for the anniversary of the last wage increase before they can file the petition. So we are prepared to address or to process the petitions kasi required naman po under the law na i-ano po ‘yan, i-publish, and then mag-conduct ka ng public consultation and public hearing bago pa po magkaroon ng wage order," she said.
Baldoz said the time of reckoning may begin after the full implementation of the last wage hike.
“I don’t have the schedule of the anniversary dates with me. But kung meron hong mag-e-end na ang anniversary date, expect na meron hong wage increase petition," she said.
"Ang alam ko sa NCR ‘yung last tranche is January. Parang ‘yung effectivity ‘nung full na… Kasi nag-installment sila, so effective 2014, na-implement ‘yung wage order na ‘yon. I think they will reckon the one year anniversary from the time na na-grant nila in full ‘yung wage increase based on the order released in 2013.“