DOLE exec gives jobless Pinoys advice as unemployment rate worsens

Published June 9, 2021, 3:41 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Assistant Secretary Dominique Rubia-Tutay gave some advice to jobless Filipinos on Wednesday, June 9 amid the increase in unemployment rate in the country.

(Screengrab from Zoom meeting)

“Ang nakakalungkot po, may mga nakikita po ako at nakakasalamuha na mga nawlaan ng trabaho because of the pandemic either local or overseas. And parang umaasa na lang sila doon sa tipong kailangan nila ng government intervention para i-refer sila, pero wala naman silang ginagawa sa sarili nila para ma-improve yung skills nila (I’ve been able to talk to both local or overseas workers who have been displaced because of the pandemic. What’s sad is that they’re just relying on government intervention for referrals, while they themselves aren’t doing anything to improve their skills),” Tutay said during an online press briefing.

“Nandun yung government to provide you assistance, pero tulungan mo din yung sarili mo (The government is there to provide you assistance, but you should also help yourself),” said Tutay, who is involved with the DOLE-Bureau of Local Employment (BLE).

She cited as a hypothetical example the case of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who worked as a barista abroad before being sent home due to the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Tutay said the former barista must realize that the Philippines might not have a booming sector for his skills. At this point, he should take it upon himself to do something about it.

“Kung iisipin mo, mayroong mga ibang sektor naman na umuusbong at sana yun yung pagtuunan natin ng pansin. Kasi minsan nasa sarili din natin kung paano tayo babangon (If you think about it, other employment sectors are on the rise and that’s what we should focus on. Sometimes, how we get back on our feet is up to us),” the DOLE official stressed.

Tutay said that initiave is key if Filipinos don’t want to get left behind by the evolving labor market.

“As we reopen the economy, ang challenge ko po sa ating mga manggagawa lalung lalo na doon sa mga bagong graduates ay una, alamin po natin yung mga industriya na nangangailangan po ng workers (my challenge to our workers especially to the new graduates is, try to determine which industries are in need of workers).

“Kung sa tingin po natin ay hindi tama, or hindi sapat, or hindi akma yung skills na mayroon tayo, then magkusa po tayo na i-train yung ating mga sarili (If you think your current skills don’t match up to these industries, then have the initiative to train yourself),” she said.

The latest Labor Force Survey results showed that the unemployment rate in the country jumped to 8.7 percent (representing 4.138 million unemployed Filipinos) this April from 7.1 percent (3.441 million) in March.

This means that nearly 700,000 Filipinos lost their jobs during the month-long period. DOLE has blamed the recent reimposition of strict lockdowns in the National Capital Region (NCR)-plus for the spike in unemployment rate.