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Thousands of job seekers gather at Pampanga’s Labor Day job fairs.

PAMPANGA’S CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Catherine Serrano, a business administration graduate from one of the province’s colleges, was among the early birds at the Kingsborough International Convention Center’s Labor Day employment and business fairs on Sunday.

Serrano, like many other new grads and job seekers who attended the “Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan” event, is looking forward to her first job.

She admits to feeling under pressure to find work after being compelled to stay at home owing to the coronavirus disease pandemic of 2019 (Covid-19).

Serrano said she now has high hopes of finding work after learning about the one-day activity organized by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in time for the country’s 120th Labor Day celebration.

“I am quite excited to apply for my first job. Of course, there is a sense of dread. But I’m dead set on getting a job. In an interview, she remarked, “I think this job fair is a fantastic opportunity for me to obtain a job.”

Thousands of job seekers flocked to the job and business fairs centered on the subject “Matatag na Negosyo, Matatag na Trabaho,” which provided over 27,000 openings.

DOLE regional director Geraldine Panlilio said there has been a large turnout of job candidates, with 120 firms offering positions.

“There are a lot of applicants that arrived here as early as 7 a.m. waiting for the formal beginning of the employment activity,” Panlilio remarked.

Jonathan De Lara, an information technology graduate who is looking for work, said he is both frightened and eager because this is his first time applying for a job.

“I’m hoping to impress my potential employer and be one of the few people recruited on the spot,” he stated.

The first 50 applicants who are employed on the spot will also receive a PHP20,000 livelihood award, according to DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello, who led the formal inauguration of the Labor Day jobs and business fairs here.

In addition, Bello stated that 20 nego-karts (business in a cart) will be awarded to qualifying recipients.

Applicants were also able to take advantage of pre-employment services provided by DOLE’s partner agencies, including the Social Security System, PhilHealth, the Philippine Statistics Authority, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, during the fair.

During the event, many micro, small, and medium firms, as well as DOLE livelihood beneficiaries’ items, were presented and made available for exhibition and sale.

Other highlights of the event include the awarding of safety seal certificates to 10 companies in the region that met the government’s minimum health standards, the distribution of salaries to 412 SPES beneficiaries, and the payout of salaries to 567 Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) beneficiaries.

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