Gov‘t rushes job creation for Hanjin workers

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The government quickly moved to offer the displaced workers of shipbuilder Hanjin with alternate sources of employment or income. contributed photo

The Duterte administration has opened up nearly 17,000 jobs, an “immediate response” to displaced workers of the cash-strapped Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines (HHIC-Phil), a public works official said Wednesday.

Anna Mae Lamentillo, chairperson of the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program, said a job fair is slated for 9 February in Subic to help workers rendered jobless by the Korean shipbuilder’s financial dive find new sources of income.

Subic is happy to be part of this project to bring greater positive social impact to our people.

“What is indicated on our portal is at least 17,000 jobs and we expect that at least 75 contractors will be participating,” Lamentillo said at an economic briefing held at the Palace.

She added that the Departments of Finance, Budget and Management, Public Works and Highways, Transportation, Trade and Industry, and National Defense, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) would be joining the caravan.

The job fair, to be held at the SBMA Gym in the Subic Bay Freeport, was initiated to provide employment to the displaced workers of HHIC under the “Build, Build, Build = Jobs, Jobs, Jobs Caravan” banner.

Wilma Eisma, chairperson and administrator of the SBMA, said they are committed to finding jobs for the displaced Hanjin workers.

“Subic is happy to be part of this project to bring greater positive social impact to our people.

We are committed to find every opportunity for the SBMA to make more jobs available and catalyze greater growth in Central Luzon and the rest of the country,” Eisma said.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III assured that there will be no job-skill mismatch after Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) conducted a profiling activity on 2,779 Hanjin workers.

“Around 65 percent or 1,801 of the 2,779 profiled Hanjin workers are skilled in carpentry, 24 percent or 661 on the other hand have skills in vulcanizing and welding, hence there will be no problem with job-skill mismatch if they work in the construction industry,” Bello said.

“We are bringing job opportunities closer to the people. The available jobs guarantee decent domestic employment for our highly skilled workers. They need not sacrifice being away to provide for their families because local productive work abounds,” Bello added.

Figures from the DoLE showed laborers from Hanjin dropped by 3,745 from 17,307 last March 2018.

The government is optimistic the “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” event will be able to provide employment for the workers in dire need of livelihood.

Based on their profiling, Lamentillo said carpentry has the highest number of skilled workers at 1,801 or 65 percent of the total number of displaced workers. This is followed by 661 welders or 24 percent of the jobless Hanjin workforce, and 180 computer workers or 6 percent of the workers.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, for his part, urged jobseekers to explore employment opportunities in nearby Clark.

“We believe there are enough jobs available at Clark ecozone alone for the displaced workers of Hanjin Philippines. According to the BCDA, a lot of jobs for skilled workers are needed at Clark as it shifts to high gear for its program to transform New Clark City into the country’s first smart and green metropolis,” Dominguez said.

The Jobs Caravan is spearheaded by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Transportation (DoTr), Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), BCDA, SBMA and the Clark Development Corp.

“This is an opportunity for us to aid those who lost or will lose their jobs in Hanjin, and at the same time complement the manpower requirement of the BBB program of the government,” said DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, noting the need for additional labor force to match the yearly additional budget in infrastructure projects.

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