DOLE, DA inks GIP deal to fill gaps in agri

Hundreds of young agricultural professionals are set to be deployed to various offices and projects under the labor department’s Government Internship Program (GIP), it was reported on Sunday.

In an agreement signed recently by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Agriculture Secretary William Dar, hundreds of technical and agricultural biosystems engineers and graduates will be employed by DA which is seen to fill the gap in the demand for the profession in agriculture.

Under the deal, the agricultural professionals will be deployed to various government projects and offices in the country.

Bello said that based on the JobsFit Labor Market Information Report 2022, several jobs in the agribusiness sector are classified as in-demand but hard to fill.

This include Agricultural Economist, Animal Husbandry, Aqua-culturist, and several others in the field of agricultural and biosystems engineering.

In-demand occupations refer to job vacancies posted recurrently by establishments and industries and have high turnover or replacement rate.

Hard to fill occupations refer to job vacancies where the company is having difficulty filling because job applicants are not qualified or there is no supply of job applicants.

It is also hard for employers to fill these jobs since many qualified applicants prefer to work abroad, seek higher pay or have problems with work schedule or location.

Bello said that while the Philippines is transitioning to an economy with more emphasis on manufacturing and service, it is still an agricultural country where nearly one third of its labor force is employed in agriculture made up of farming, fisheries, forestry, and livestocks.

Based on data provided by DOLE’s Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), Bello stressed there are 711 Agricultural and Biosystems Engineers who passed the licensure examination and more or less 1,000 new agricultural and biosystems engineering graduates who will enter the labor market.

“From the labor and employment perspective, the development of the rural sector is crucial first step for the country to provide more and better jobs for the poor. Three quarters of the poor are found in the rural areas and agriculture employs most of the poor, which means agriculture plays a key role in efficiently reducing poverty”, Bello said.

DOLE-GIP is a program that aims to provide opportunities and engage young workers to serve in government agencies, projects and programs at the national and local levels.

The internship period shall be for a minimum of three months to a maximum of six months and the stipend is equivalent to the existing minimum wage of the region where the beneficiary is employed, and shall be entitled to an insurance coverage.