186 applicants hired on-the-spot in Subic job fair

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — A total of 186 applicants were hired on the spot during the Build, Build, Build= Jobs, Jobs, Jobs Caravan held here on Saturday, February 9, to help provide alternative employment to workers who were laid off recently at the Hanjin shipyard.

The Build, Build, Build team of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Transportation (DOTr,) and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) organized the job fair in partnership with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and other agencies.

Around 25,000 jobs were opened to displaced Hanjin workers, as well as walk-in applicants, by 103 participating firms, mostly locators in the Subic Bay Freeport and contractors of government projects.

Build, Build, Build=Jobs, Jobs, Jobs Caravan organizers and guests do a “Duterte fist” during the jobs fair held at the SBMA Gym, from left: Trade Undersecretary Rowel Barba, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Senator Richard Gordon, SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, and Zambales 1st District Rep. Jeffrey Khonghun.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma thanked the organizers and participating firms during the fair and cited the collaboration between public and private sectors in maintaining a strong workforce to sustain the economic growth of the Central Luzon region.

“We acknowledge the efforts of the government through the BBB Team to come up with an immediate program to address the plight of displaced Hanjin workers,” Eisma said.

“This is only the second Jobs, Jobs, Jobs caravan of President Duterte, and Subic was chosen to be the venue. With all your support, industries here in the Subic Bay Freeport will continue to flourish,” Eisma added.

Villar said President Duterte ordered the conduct of a jobs caravan upon hearing about the problem facing Hanjin workers. “Ang pangarap n’ya sa Pilipinas ay lahat po ng ating kababayan ay magkakaroon ng trabaho, kaya po may Build Build Build program tayo,” he added.

The inter-agency project was held with the cooperation of the DOLE, Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Trade and Industry, National Economic and Development Authority, and Clark Development Corporation.

The jobs fair was also graced by Senator Richard Gordon, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, BCDA President Vince Dizon, and Zambales First District Rep. Jeffrey Khonghun.

The day-long jobs caravan held at the SBMA Gymnasium drew out 4,051 job applicants, said Rommel Aquino, manager of the SBMA Labor Department’s Manpower Services Division. These included 2,464 former Hanjin shipyard workers who comprised 60.8% of the registered participants.

Meanwhile, out of the 186 applicants hired on the spot (HOTS), 99 were former Hanjin workers. The HOTS were hired as welders, electricians, masons, fitters, engineers, drivers, painters, scaffolders, riggers, admin assistants, clerks, and sales and marketing staff, among others.

Aquino added that applicants who lacked some requirements like trade test certificate and medical certificate may be accepted upon submission of the needed documents.

During the fair, Chairman Eisma also stressed that the SBMA has never failed to fulfil its mandate of generating employment and that it has done so by regularly organizing job fairs every year.

Despite the current financial difficulties hounding Hanjin, Eisma said she is still hopeful that Subic Freeport businesses and industries will continue to flourish, provide jobs to residents, and help in the economic growth of nearby communities.

The Subic jobs caravan was the second leg of the Build, Build, Build=Jobs, Jobs, Jobs project. The first was held in Manila while the third and fourth will be in Cebu and Davao, respectively.

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