Exec admits most positions offered at job fair contractual


Job fair in SM City Davao. Photo by Karlos Manlupig/INQUIRER MINDANAO

MANILA, Philippines—As labor militants individuals condemned contractual employment, among other things, in rallies across the country, other people kept themselves busy doing something else on Labor Day: They applied for mostly contractual jobs.

At the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City, for example, hundreds of people had begun lining up to be among the first to apply for a position at 10 a.m., the time the doors of the mall were to open, and the start of the job fair organized by the Department of Labor and Employment, and the city’s Public Employment and Services Office (Peso).

According to Emma Javier, Peso head, the number of registered applicants stood at 612 before 11 a.m. and ballooned to more than 1,000 by noon, with some 2,000 still waiting in line outside by police estimates.

Javier said local job vacancies, ranging from managerial to unskilled positions, numbered 6,619, and overseas ones at 1,400, “more than enough,” she said, to accommodate the expected applicants.

The vacancies, however, were contractual in nature, she admitted, with two-year contracts offered by six overseas potential employers. If hired, registrants could be deployed to Canada and Kuwait, among other places, as head waiters and engineers, she said.

Fifty-five local companies, she said, offered six-month contracts.

Most of the applicants, whose ages ranged from 18 to 30, were looking for jobs as service workers (fastfood crew, sales representatives), clerks (pharmacy assistants, call center agents) and as unskilled workers (janitor, messenger), Javier said.

A “smaller percentage,” she said, looked for jobs as skilled workers, managers, professionals and associate professionals.

“Even those with a degree prefer to apply for a service crew position because they say it’s easier to get hired,” Javier said.

She said that overall, the number of participants was “overwhelming” compared with that of last year’s job fair. According to her, participants then poured in only by late afternoon.

“But this year, they were already lined up since this morning,” she said.

Mark Sierra, who was seated on the stair landing when approached by the Inquirer, said the process was “pretty fast,” adding that the fact that the mall was air-conditioned made the wait “more bearable.”

He lamented, however, that the vacancies offered in the fair were contractual in nature.

“The government should take that out already. When hired, we should all become permanent workers,” he said.

He was quick to add, however, that applying for a contractual job was better than rallying on the streets.

“What will I do there? Instead of looking for a job, I’d be shouting? I don’t think so,” he said.

His cousin Charmlaqui Bautista agreed. “Nothing’s going to come out of rallying,” he said. With Jhesset Enano and Mariejo Ramos, student trainees

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  • joboni96

    para sa foreign investors at intsik switik yan
    hindi para sa ating mga pilipino

    magkaisa tayo patumbahin
    ang batas na ito

    • asdafaa qwesda

      Bakit? di ba kaya ng Pilipino magtayo at magpatakbo ng sariling negosyo?

      • joboni96

        kayang kaya

        was talking about contractual employment

  • carlcid

    Pinagyayabang ng administrasyon yung economic growth, daw. Nguni’t walang mga trabaho para sa mga manggagawa. Eto ika ay “jobless growth”!

  • asdafaa qwesda

    The problem is our labor code makes it impractical to fire a regular employee even with just cause. Just look at the effect on countries like France and Italy. They also make it difficult to fire people and they have among the highest unemployment rate in the OECD (note they adopted these worthless rules AFTER they became rich). They ended having a two tier labor market where the less productive regulars are protected at the expense of the productive temp workers.

    Germany and Sweden had a similar problem with their failed experiments in a large welfare state. Germany was once known as the sick man of europe. Fortunately theygave firms the ability to fire workers readily using a “flexicurity” scheme. Wherein firms can fire workers and the government provides unemployment benefits for a year or two with job training.

    Unfortunately, our labor code has caused so much unemployment and kept us poor that we can’t afford such a system. Unlike the Nordic countries which became rich with flexible labor markets first before experimenting with these silly ideas.

    • go88

      ‘Just look at the effect on countries like France and Italy. They also make it difficult to fire people and they have among the highest unemployment rate in…’

      It’s not really the about the labor code. The main problem in France is that the government let the industry go down, add to that the highest taxation in Europe and hellish bureaucracy that makes it very hard to start a business there.

      ‘Germany and Sweden had a similar problem with their failed experiments in a large welfare state. Germany was once known as the sick man of europe. Fortunately theygave firms the ability to fire workers readily using a “flexicurity” scheme. Wherein firms can fire workers and the government provides unemployment benefits for a year or two with job training.’

      You mean 1€ an hour jobs? Try to live with a 50 pesos an hour job in Germany The only reason job growth in Germany has been strong is because of the promotion of flexible low income state-subsidised mini-jobs. Wage inequality in Germany and Sweden used to be not that signicant, but nowadays workers in those countries

      • asdafaa qwesda

        That same bureaucracy is responsible for making it difficult to fire people. What you say is true but it does not imply what i say to be false. As evidenced by the rallies and strikes the laborers do there without getting fired.

        The gov’t let the industry down? Well because they supported such militant labor yes. But if you mean bcuz they stopped subsidizing them then that is wrong. If gov’t has the responsibility of subsidizing every failing industry where will it get the money of every industry is failing? Those that remain competitive didn’t become that why due merely to subsidies. And high taxation of competitive industries, which u admit discourages job creation, makes such industries less competitive.

        On 1Euro/hour jobs didn’t stoke resentment and probably because it was an improvement. It is not perfect but the left hasn’t offered any concrete alternative that didn’t destroy productivity and stoke inflation (e.g. Hugo Chavez). And if it didn’t, they still had to rely on the demand from rich capitalistic societies for their non-renewable resources/oil. For you to complain presumes you have a better alternative (and by better i mean one that offers a higher standard of living and is SUSTAINABLE). So let’s hear it.

        ” flexible low income state-subsidised mini-jobs.” i’d like to point out that it is because of free market policies that the state is able to afford such subsidies.

        Why is wage inequality a bad thing for as long as everyone has enough to eat, a house, clothes, and educate their children? Why is relative poverty so important over that of absolute poverty?

  • asdafaa qwesda

    Most businesses are ok with regularizing workers and giving them benefits MINUS security of tenure.

    As soon as labor gets over their delusion that they have a right to security of tenure they can have all the other benefits provided by law.

    They have no more right to security of tenure as a business has a right to demand that consumers buy its products. Circumstances change and businesses need to adapt. If workers cannot produce output that business need to fulfill market desires they need to be fired. In theory the law allows this but the process is so tedious and costly that it keeps businesses from adapting to the market.

    Besides, entrepreneurs and labor are suppose to be equal partners. Owners should have as much right to trade their money for the best services as labor does to trade its services to the highest bidder.

    • sopingac


      Many on the labor force don’t realize this until they get into the other side like when they enter business.

  • pepito gwaps

    Contractual job pero pangangailangan natin kumain araw araw ay hindi naman contactual. Kung gusto nyong tumulong sa mga tao ay lubos lubusin nyo na…

    • asdafaa qwesda

      “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages” -Adam Smith

      Lahat naman tayo kailangan ng pagkain. Ngunit dapat may mabigay tayong kapalit na pareho o higit pang halaga. Di naman pwede porke kailangan mo dapat may magbibigay sa iyo. Someone has to work to fulfill those needs. The problem is the labor code keeps the businessman from getting a fair exchange for a regular worker’s salary by making it impractical to fire that person and disciplining him.

      That’s why most businesses are retail, food, trading and call centers. The capex is small and the ROI is fast. Unlike big factories where a union can blackmail you.

      • pepito gwaps

        Thomas Jefferson told us the first and only objective of a good government: “The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only objective of good government.”

        How you can be happy if you know your work will expire for 6 months and your family will become hungry again. Why we need to pay taxes when the time we have no capacity to pay taxes the gov’t never give me a job and security of tenure.

        ‘The government has an ethical and moral obligation to look after its citizens. It’s even in the government’s best interest. Keep citizens alive, and they’ll continue to be able to give back to their country.’ The law on “contractualization” should be reviewed and if found it is against to the well being and welfare of her citizens, it should be abolished right away.

      • sopingac

        Yours is ideal while the other was for real.

        I have yet to know of a Satur Ocampo getting into business to set an example and make a realization of what he is supposed to be long fighting for.

      • asdafaa qwesda

        Which begs the question, does our onerous labor code which increases the cost of doing business and doscourages job creation actually serve the interest of caring for human life and happiness? I say no, and i argued why.

        No country ever became rich and created many jobs with the kind of labor code we have.

  • Ronald Diaz

    Reminder for us poor Filipinos — Do Not Vote TRAPO politicians if we need a big changes on our government. These TRAPO’s don’t deserve to have a seat in a government, THEY ALL Crook’s, They will going to sabotage our economy.

  • Ronald Diaz

    The Filipino people would be very happy if this 6mos contractual basis will be abolished it gives us sufferings for those who are working in domestic. Filipino people deserves to have a descent and better life. Only few who are enjoying with these kind of strategy especially with those politicians who owns labor agency but for the welfare of the most majority of Filipino people are not enjoying who earns only below minimum wage with 2 children.

    I hope that our government will focus on this issue.

  • Descarte5E

    The government tolerate contractualization. The politicians do not say anything about it because they too employ contractual employees.
    Do you think that employers will do away with contractualization if no one is protesting against it? It could be worse like 3 months contract instead of 6 months. I thank those people who are braving the heat than the politicians who are just stealing people’s money.

  • John Sulayman

    At least these people are doing something for their livelihood and contributing to the development of the Philippines rather than staging pointless rallies and making themselves look stupid in the world press and on television.

  • go88

    ‘He was quick to add, however, that applying for a contractual job was better than rallying on the streets.’

    Good boy …. CLAP-CLAP-CLAP … smiling oligarch clapping his hands.

    This reminds me of a discussion I had with the daughter of a haciendero when I asked her if she finds it is right that the contractual lumad workers her family is employing earn 80 pesos a day. Her answer was: “well that’s enough for their needs”.

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