By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said job and employment prospects are positive even during the COVID-19 pandemic as some businesses remain resilient and relevant despite the global health crisis.
In a statement, Nograles, who is also the co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, urged the public to remain persistent and creative amid the pandemic.
“Know what and where to look for employment-wise in these challenging times. No one is immune from the fallout brought by COVID-19,” he said.
“Everyone in both the public and private sector is affected, and our government is doing its best to provide social and economic safety nets,” he added.
In an online speech in a webinar hosted by the Far Eastern University, Nograles told FEU graduating students several businesses are actually booming and have the potential of taking advantage of the challenges posed by the current situation.
A number of these promising fields belong to the health and medical sectors, online retail and deliveries as well as various online services, among many others.
“May uncertainties lalo na sa ating mga kabataan, pero malaki at marami ring prospects (There are uncertainties among our youth but there are a lot of huge prospects),” he said.
“Expected na may ilang mababahala (It is expected that a lot of you are worried). Let’s remain optimistic and think there are many opportunities out there,” he added.
According to Nograles, it could be challenging for the service sector, for instance, because physical distancing measures but sectors like logistics, medicine and health care, and even online retail, remain stable and in fact expect steady growth.
“Now is the best time for you, graduating students and new graduates, to prepare and to re-think your ‘game plan’ on how to adapt to the demands of the ‘new normal’ due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Nograles likewise emphasized that new job applicants must be able to properly utilize and take advantage of new web-based technologies in finding employment.
Meanwhile, the Palace official urged students to do volunteer work while searching for regular employment as a means of developing individual skills and expanding their network which could help secure employment and other livelihood opportunities in the future.
He said that until a vaccine is found, physical distancing and other hygiene protocols would have to be strictly enforced regardless of the level quarantine currently in effect.
According to Nograles, the IATF is pushing for an expedited delivery of social services to the most vulnerable groups in the population through the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) ID cards linked to digital payment systems.
Through PhilSys, the government will have a more reliable registry of vulnerable persons from all databases, resulting in the automatic and universal release of aid during national emergencies without the need for applications.
Nograles said that even the education sector needs to adapt to the “new normal” through the institutionalization of so-called blended or online learning, flexible learning options such as open high schools, and alternative delivery modes and satellites for off-grid areas.
“We’re keeping up with the everyday challenges of COVID-19 and we’re slowly easing in systems that would benefit every Filipino. Let’s all be positive and supportive. We’re all in this fight together.” (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)