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DOLE preps 'Kalayaan' job fair in General Santos

PHOTO by Harlem Jude Ferolino of PIA Sarangani-General Santos City

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (PIA) -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) General Santos City Field Office announced its preparation for the celebration of the 125th Independence Day on June 12.

Labor and Employment Officer and Job Fair focal Rodilyn Tagbac said during the Kapihan sa PIA on Friday (May 26) that DOLE will be having a “Kalayaan Job Fair,” which also features the “Araw ng Kabataan para sa mga Batang Malaya” for the child laborers in Soccsksargen.

“For the job fair, we are doing ‘yung usual na ginagawa natin. We will invite employers to be our participants para sa mga applicants natin seeking for job opportunities,” she said, emphasizing that the Araw ng Kabataan para sa mga Batang Malaya will also serve as one of the highlights of the event.

Nurhasan Juanday, manager of the Public Employment Service Office (PESO)-General Santos and vital partner of the DOLE for the June 12 Kalayaan Job fair, described the event as "huge."

He said "a huge crowd is expected on that day at marami-rami ring mga kababayan natin from General Santos ang ini-expect [natin] to join the activity in relation to the 125th Independence Day [job fair]," he said.

"For the job fair alone, according to the DOLE, they are eyeing at least 200 establishments and recruitment agencies that would be participating. You can just imagine how big the vacancies would be given to our kababayan in terms of employment, local and overseas," Juanday disclosed.

He said that of the targeted number, there are 170 local establishments, which are not necessarily confined to General Santos but also other neighboring areas like South Cotabato and even Davao Region, with 30 overseas recruitment agencies expected to join the job fair.

PHOTO by Harlem Jude Ferolino of PIA Sarangani-General Santos City

When asked why hold a job fair on Independence Day, Tagbac replied that DOLE has deemed it appropriate to conduct a job fair during the Independence Day celebration since it is a holiday to ensure that every applicant is given a fair chance to avail of the job vacancies being offered by participating employers.

Backing Tagbac's response, Juanday rationalized that "through this Independence Day activity, we are also giving our katawhan [people] the opportunity of being free in terms of searching for employment opportunities kaya nagkaroon ng job fair on this particular celebration."

Both Juanday and Tagbac advised jobseekers, though, to bring all necessary documents as requirements for the jobs they are seeking to the venue at the SM City General Santos Trade Halls.

The DOLE 12 will also be conducting a press conference on June 5 at SM Meeting Rooms 1 and 2.

PHOTO by Harlem Jude Ferolino of PIA Sarangani-General Santos City

For the Batang Malaya program, Tagbac said they are expecting some 75 child laborers to participate in the event, describing it as exclusively for child laborers that DOLE has profiled as part of the agency’s commitment and advocacy to protect children and ultimately remove them from the list of child laborers.

"So ang activity po meron tayong participants na mga child laborers na na-profile ng ating mga community facilitators last 2021 and 2022. Sila po ang magiging participants natin on that day kasama po ang kanilang parents," Tagbac added.

She disclosed that there will be a series of activities for the Batang Malaya event, such as storytelling and children's games, and "we also invited Jollibee to ensure that the occasion will truly be enjoyable for children," among others.

According to her, DOLE, together with other partner agencies, has continuously raised awareness about child labor, hoping to reduce the number of child laborers in the country by generating support from various groups to intensify the campaign against it and other forms of child abuse.

PHOTO by Harlem Jude Ferolino of PIA Sarangani-General Santos City

Meanwhile, Juanday pointed out that the Kalayaan job fair will also highlight some livelihood programs, skills demonstrations, and cash releases specifically for the beneficiaries of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers, or TUPAD program.

DOLE defines TUPAD "as a community-based assistance package that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed individuals, and seasonal workers."

The program offers minimum employment for a period of 10 days, which can be extended up to a maximum of 30 days, depending on the nature of the work required. (CTA/PIA SarGen)

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Catherine Apelacio

Information Officer III

Region 12

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