|DOLE Bicol OIC-Regional Director Atty. Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla.|
This was Department of Labor and Employment–Regional Office No. V’s reaction after learning that Bicol posted the second highest employment rate in the latest national Labor Force Survey (LFS) conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
According to the LFS, more jobs were generated in the Bicol region pushing its employment rate to 96.2 percent, the second among the regions and even surpassing the 93.9 percent national employment rate. Bicol region likewise posted the second lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.8 percent.
“We have almost a 100 percent employment rate and it is even more notable that we have the second lowest unemployment rate in the entire country,” said Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bicol OIC-Regional Director Atty. Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla.
Cagayan Valley has the highest employment rate at 96.9 percent and lowest unemployment rate at 3.1 percent.
The survey shows that out of the total population in the region, some 3.7 million Bicolanos aged 15 years old and above are part of the labor force comprising the 67 percent labor force participation rate of the region.
“This figure has gone up by at least two notches from 65.3 percent from last year’s LFPR,” Trayvilla said.
Trayvilla attributed these developments not only to their department but also to the active implementation of the programs and services of all the government offices and LGUs in the entire region.
“Although our major employment enhancement programs like the Job Fairs, Job Search Kiosks, Government Internship Program (GIP), DOLE Kabuhayan Starter Kit, Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD), and Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES), may have been a big factor on this, still it is the convergence of programs from other agencies and LGUs that brought Bicol to this high employment rate,” she said.
DOLE Bicol further eyes lower poverty incidence in the region since most Bicolanos are actively earning.
“Of course if you’re gainfully employed then you are earning and that earnings could transform the daily living of not just an individual but the entire family. Our vision is to have at least two family members having sustainable income,” Trayvilla said.
However, the region posted 33.6 percent underemployment rate, the highest among the regions and even higher by 4.3 percent compared to the underemployment rate recorded last year. Moreover, Trayvilla said DOLE Bicol sees this as an opportunity rather than a setback.
“We see this as a stepping stone and opportunity. Sooner or later those underemployed will transition to a better job,” she said. (by Raymond Escalante)