TACLOBAN CITY- About 4,000 jobless people from the region are expected to join its workforce courtesy of a job fair coinciding the Labor Day celebration on May 1.
Exequiel Sarcauga, regional director of the Department of Labor (DOLE), said that unlike in previous job fairs held every Labor Day, the department is not putting up a target in so far as applicants hired on-the- spot.
“(Because) there are further tests being conducted by the employers to the applicants and if it’s an overseas work, the (prospective) employer is not around,” Sarcauga said, referring to reasons why the DOLE is not setting up ceiling as to the number of applicants hired on-the-spot during this year’s job fair.
DOLE had earlier put a 15 percent hired-on-the-spot out of the entire number of job applicants during job fairs on Labor Day.
But applicants are advised to bring with them the needed and required documents for them to be immediately considered for possible hiring, said DOLE assistant director Roy Buenafe.
This year’s regional Labor Day celebration will be held at the Leyte Academic Center in Palo town with Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III as the main guest.
Sarcauga said that about 32 employers, both local and overseas, are to attend this year’s job fair with about 4,000 jobs available.
The number of jobs available during the job fair, however, is not enough to address the huge number of people in the region who are actually out of work.
About 86,000 15 years old and above people in the region are jobless with about 1.8 million others considered to be employed.
It was learned from Sarcauga that the number of jobseekers in the region increases every year with new graduates, at the average of 6,000, looking for jobs.
But the labor regional chief said that while there is still a wide gap between the number of people looking for jobs and jobs available in the region, this is being addressed by the government through jobs fair like the one being held every Labor Day.
Sarcauga also said that under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, the issue on contractualization or better known as “endo” or end of contract is being addressed.
Since the policy has been enforced by the Duterte government, more than 1,000 contractual workers in the region have been granted regular employment by their respective employers, the DOLE-8 chief said.
“Hopefully we can improve it because it is not the result the President would like to hear from us,” Sarcauga said.

ARGIE GONGON, LSDE Student intern