TACLOBAN CITY- Kristene Joy Alas, 21, is a smart lady and on her way to receive her diploma in business administration on April 2, 2014 in Manila. Like many other young graduates in the country, Alas is already dreaming herself working in a corporate office, earning enough money to send for her family back in the Yolanda-hit province of Leyte and save some for her own.
Latest employment figures reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority, however, show no rosy picture for Alas and for the rest of the more than 700,000 college graduates who will join the labor market in the next few days.
According to the agency, unemployment rate rose to 7.5 percent in January 2014 from 7.1 percent in January 2013. Independent think-tank IBON also contested that about 4.5 million were unemployed last year, hinting also a similar problem on unemployment rate for this year.
In spite of her gut feeling that landing into a job is feat of “survival of the fittest,” Alas remains positive.
“I know it’s not that easy to get a job but if you’re really that person who is motivated and dedicated in job hunting I think you’ll get lucky,” she told Leyte Samar Daily Express.
Raymund Astorga, also graduating on his accountancy degree from a reputable school, shared the same views with Alas.
“I don’t have any fear in entering the business knowing that business courses are in demand nowadays. For us, it will depend on our performance and good background in our undergraduate history like the school, grades and other affiliations,” he said.
Astorga added what he fears most is the job mismatch.
“I want to be in a workplace where I will be happy, in my line of degree,” he said, yet adding he is open to any possibilities for work experience.
He also expressed disappointment to the government on the rising unemployment.
To cope with the changing needs of time, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has announced expansion to its short-term courses which include learning foreign languages, this as some Filipinos who cannot find a work in the country opted to leave for abroad.
It is estimated that about one million left the country every year to find work overseas. (RONALD O.REYES)