By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
289 applicants were hired-on-the-spot (HOTS) for local and overseas employment in the job fair organized by the Public Employment Services Office (PESO) Iloilo at the Provincial Capitol on Friday.
PESO-Iloilo Head Francisco Heler said 242 were hired as service crew, sales team leader, sales clerk, and field coordinator, among others; while 47 were hired as waiter/waitress, barista, and housekeeper in Saudi Arabia.
According to Heler, more than 4,000 job seekers registered and 117 local companies and 25 overseas companies participated in the job fair.
“We recorded a total of 4,647 registered applicants in the job fair. Actually 156, ang nag-confirm but only 142 ang nag-attend. Out of the 142 firms, 117 were local companies while 22 were land-based overseas companies and three were sea-based,” he added.
Compared to a similar job fair in 2018, Heler said that the numbers were close except for the increase in HOTS – from 101 in 2018 to 289 this year.
“In terms of number of participants and companies, daw parehos lang last year. In terms of HOTS, mas damo lang subong,” he said.
Heler said a lot of factors should be considered in the HOTS, particularly the companies that participated in the job fair.
“It depends on the company that participated because there are some that cannot practice HOTS because they have their own process, so we respect that. For example, gin-hire taka, or qualified ka pero we cannot consider you as hired on the spot because the company will subject you to another interview, so may another layer sila. You are somewhat shortlisted but we cannot say that you were hired on the spot,” he explained.
Nevertheless, Heler underscored the importance of job fairs especially in exposing the applicants to a number of companies and eventually help them secure jobs.
“It’s a simultaneous exposure of the applicants to a number of companies in just one day. Instead of job seekers, searching for their jobs the companies made themselves available for the applicants. Ara di tanan nga companies sa isa ka venue. We made it convenient kag indirectly kami na mismo gapangita ubra para sa ila,” he said.
The PESO chief added that the conduct of job fairs is most especially helpful to the fresh graduates.
“This is a big help for the fresh graduates because indi lang companies ang gina-facilitate namon para makaubra sila, we are also facilitating other interventions. If they want to avail of free training program or scholarship under TESDA, they are here including other technical vocational institutions. It’s just like a one-stop shop. We also have free employment intervention nga ginatagaan sila sang ihabalo nga magiyahan sila and we will provide them topics that will help them for their employment,” he said.
Western Visayas’ employment rate is at 96 percent, based on the 2019 Labor Force Survey for January conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
The region’s employment rate is one point higher from last year and significantly higher compared to the national rate of 94.8 percent.
Moreover, underemployment rate in the region also went down from 22.9 percent in 2018 to 16.8 percent this year.