Filipino Fresh Graduates might face the reality of unemployment or job with low pay-Labor leaders warned
MANILA, Philippines – Labor leaders yesterday warned the government that Filipino fresh graduates of colleges and vocational schools are more likely to end up unemployed or, if they find a job, face poor working conditions with low pay.
Alan Tanjusay, Associated Labor Union spokesman, said job prospects are not bright for the estimated one million students who are set to graduate in the coming weeks.
“Job-skills mismatch, short-term contractual work, low wage and unsafe workplaces are awaiting those estimated one million graduates in colleges and vocational schools,” said Tanjusay.
“We don’t want to give this young workforce any false hope. Though we also don’t want to discourage them, these are the issues that confront our new graduates,” he added.
He noted that the prevailing mismatch between skills and the actual jobs available in the market is the major reason for the growing problem of unemployment and underemployment in the country.
Tanjusay cited results of the October 2016-2017 round of government’s Labor Force Survey, which showed that about eight million workers need extra jobs to augment their daily income.
According to Tanjusay, new graduates are also confronted with low entry-level minimum wage.
“The purchasing value of the current P491 entry level daily wage for workers in the National Capital Region area has also eroded to P363 a day excluding mandatory social protection salary deductions and transportation and meal expenses,” Tanjusay further pointed out.
Illegal contractual employment like the end of contract (endo) scheme continues to prevail in the country, Tanjusay said.
“Seven out of ten of the current 41 million workers are contractual. Workers who were contractual more than five years ago remain as contractual until today, getting the same entry-level pay without security of tenure and the benefits that they are supposed to enjoy. That’s how bad and massive contractualization is,” Tanjusay said.
He said new graduates who get jobs also face occupational safety and health hazards.
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“Young workers are not aware that they are walking into death traps and fire hazard workplaces when they apply for work. It’s because schools didn’t teach college students the basic occupational safety and health information,” Tanjusay explained.
Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod, however, assured the graduating students that thousands of jobs are waiting for them as soon as they finish their schooling.
Maglunsod said in the DOLE’s PhilJobNet alone, there are 10,756 job vacancies open for new graduates.
He encouraged new graduates to use the PhilJobNet’s enhanced services in looking for employment.
Jobseekers at least 15 years old, he said, may register at PhilJobNet, while any establishment or employer duly recognized by Philippine business authorizing agencies and with existing Tax Identification Number (TIN) may register as employer.
Jobseekers, on the other hand, are provided an option to apply online and to view top hiring companies.
PhilJobNet has also made job matching more flexible by allowing users to modify filters, such as specific job requirements and applicant qualifications.
Maglunsod said prior to employment, job applicants should clearly discuss with their employers the working arrangement, payment and other provisions in the employment contract.
Those who would encounter problems, Maglunsod said, can file an appropriate complaint before DOLE or before the Office of the President.
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Group asks SC to rule on K-12
The SC has been asked to now rule on petitions questioning the K-12 program of the Department of Education (DepEd), which added two years in the country’s basic education system.
In a most urgent motion yesterday, parents and teachers from Manila Science High School (MSHS) urged the high court to rule on the merits of their petition filed in June 2015 that sought to stop the implementation of the program under Republic Act 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act.
Petitioners represented by lawyer Severo Brillantes lamented that it has been almost two years since they filed the petition and the SC has yet to decide on the case.
The high court last tackled the case in April 2016 when it denied the plea of petitioners for the issuance of a TRO, which paved the way for the implementation of the controversial program on the same year.
“Petitioners have already suffered the grave injustice and irreparable injury of being compelled to still go through one year of senior high school, which this despotic and anti-democratic education program, pushed by purely selfish private school interests, has inflicted on them,” the pleading read.