PHILIPPINES: ‘Unemployment is a problem government has to pull by the roots’ – job applicants

Friday 16 May 2014

Date: 10 May 2014 Type: News Source: Bulatlat.org/ DAVAO Today Keywords: labor rights, unemployment

DAVAO CITY — Hyangelo Hao, a computer science graduate a few years back, remembered getting his first job through the university’s jobs fair, packing his bag for a public sector contracting agency in Hongkong. Before getting hired, he and his batchmates went through stringent tests in which only two of them passed.

“Only five of us out of pretty much the entire ComSci and IT batch passed the first part, which was basically writing and debugging programs,” Hao recalled. “The second part was held the following day. They brought us to a meeting room in Apo View and it was basically a group interview where we had to write code to solve a problem on a whiteboard. Only two of us got job offers but I was the only one who accepted it.”

Hao said the company put him through a two-month bootcamp with other applicants from other regions before sending him real projects.

“After the bootcamp, only half of the new hires were left. The other half was let go. I’ve learned more in those two months than I did in entire semesters in AdDU. That first job was one of the best decisions I’ve made.” he said.

Hao left the company later after one of his classmates referred him to a software company in Florida, USA.

Janee Villegas, a graduate of BS Management Accounting last year, said she had gone to two job fairs but never got the opportunity to land a job.

“I applied in a February jobs fair at school last year, and also another one during Labor Day at a shopping mall. I submitted my resume and got interviewed. The companies had exams and interviews, and later said they would call. Some did, but I didn’t get hired,” she said.

Villegas is now undergoing a ten-month training for a company in Manila she applied to outside of the jobs fair. She hopes to finally land her first job.

She said that most of her batchmates went to job fairs but end up empty-handed.

She said job fairs could help find opportunities for new graduates, but it’s not always the case. “There are those who are choosy even if the opportunity is right in front of them. Some would say it’s okay to take whatever is given to them, for experience,” she added.

She said that unemployment in the country is a big problem that government has to pull by the roots. “No matter how much you trim the statistics, if you don’t grab the problem by its roots, it will still sprout,” she said.

“The only thing that really solves unemployment is job creation. I think unemployment is just half of the problem. Underemployment is also rampant, such as nurses ending up in call centers. Half of my high school friends who took up nursing are now abroad because of the ridiculous pay in hospitals. I’m a bit luckier,” Hao said.

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