(Special Report) Thousands avail of government’s employment, livelihood and educational assistance

June 12, 2009 12:06 pm 

MANILA, June 12 – Government awarded Friday to over 3,000 beneficiaries certificates of emergency employment, livelihood funding exceeding PhP10 million and educational assistance that will help them win the war against poverty.

Beneficiaries received these certificates during a program the government held in Manila's Rizal Park as it opened the June 12-14 nationwide Kalayaan 2009 Mega-Jobs Fair marking the country's celebration of the 111th Independence Day.

"We're heading towards freedom from poverty," noted Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Jose "Lito" Atienza who handed the certificates to representatives of beneficiaries several public agencies have identified for assistance.

These agencies are DENR, Department of Agriculture (DA) and its attached offices, National Historical Institute, Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), Department of Energy, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Other agencies which extended assistance also include the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Pag-ibig Fund, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Tourism, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Education and Department of National Defense (DND).

Jobs cited in the employment certificates that beneficiaries received are part of the government's Comprehensive Livelihood Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP).

"Government already made available as of June 10 this year some 146,000 CLEEP jobs nationwide and we're still counting," said National Anti-Poverty Commission chief Secretary Domingo Panganiban, who is monitoring the program.

Panganiban, DOST Secretary Estrella Alabastro, DOLE Undersecretary Lourdes Trasmonte and National Parks Development Committee Executive Director Carlito Fajardo assisted Atienza in awarding the certificates.

This awarding reflects the job fair's theme "Kagitingan, Kagalingan at Kasipagan Tungo sa Tunay na Kalayaan," Atienza noted.

Authorities decided to hold this fair simultaneously on the same days in over 20 other areas around the country so more people can avail of jobs which DOLE said some 1,000 local and foreign employers are offering.

These areas are Baguio City (Cordillera Administrative Region); San Fernando, La Union (Region 1); Tuguegarao City (Region 2); Malolos City and Baliuag (Region 3); Calamba City and Kawit (Region 4A); Calapan City (Region 4B); Legazpi City (Region 5); Iloilo City (Region 6); Cebu City and Dumaguete City (Region 7); Tacloban City (Region 8); Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay (Region 9); Cagayan de Oro (Region 10); Davao City (Region 11); Koronadal and General Santos City (Region 12); Butuan City (CARAGA) and Shariff Aguak (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao).

"People are seeking work so holding a simultaneous fair will help facilitate their search," Panganiban said.

The fair's Day 1 will feature government agencies needing additional personnel while Day 2 will have head hunters from local private companies.

Recruitment agencies for international land- and sea-based jobs will be offered at the fair on Day 3.

New graduates find the fair a practical way of bringing together employers and job seekers.

"It's like a one-stop shop where we can apply to several employers," said Gaddy Ramos, a 2009 marketing graduate from University of Caloocan City.

He hopes to be hired as a contractual administrative assistant of DENR.

New office administration graduate Gene Camille Kimhoko agrees this fair facilitates one's search for work.

"I don't have to travel from one office to another," she said, acknowledging being able to apply at DENR and other agencies during the fair's Day 1.

Aside from DENR, other agencies that set up employment booths at the fair included DOLE, OWWA, POEA, DTI, TESDA, PAGCOR, NEDA, DOH, DA, LRTA, HUDCC, DPWH, DSWD, DND and MMDA.

DOLE describes this fair as the biggest of its kind in the country so far with over 150,000 domestic and overseas jobs open to qualified applicants.

Such jobs cover about 50,000 emergency and permanent posts in government, thousands of positions in the local private sector and numerous overseas assignments. (PNA)

LAP/CJT/utb

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