PEZA to launch DOLLAR program’s job fair for repatriated OFWs, laid-off workers due to pandemic

Showing affirmative action for Bayanihan during a global crisis, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) will be launching a Job Fair to cater to the arriving 62,000 repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), as well as the locally laid-off workers, rendered jobless by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The said move is a project under PEZA’s Development Outreach for Labor, Livelihood, and Advancement of Resources (Human Resource, Technical Resource, Natural Resource, and Financial Resource) program, or also known as the PEZA DOLLAR program.

“We will now be launching the first-ever job fair in preparation for the arrival of repatriated OFWs. Our jobless OFWs will be the priority in the said activity, but the job fair will likewise be open to unemployed Filipinos,” noted PEZA Director General Charito “Ching” Plaza.

Plaza added, “We have gathered data on the job opportunities within PEZA’s 4,542 locator companies and 408 economic zones to help our fellowmen get jobs and be able to cope with the effect of the pandemic.”

As of July 6, the total number of projected jobs reached 60,164.

This number includes data from PEZA clusters reports and the projected employment of the 26 new projects approved by the PEZA Board. According to the report from Locator Enterprises located in Public and Private Economic Zones in Cluster I, which includes CALABARZON, Pampanga, and NCR, there are about 23,644 job openings. In Cluster II, there are 14,126 openings according to the 294 respondents of its survey, while there are 2,500 job vacancies reported in Cluster III.

Meanwhile, the PEZA Board-approved 26 new projects in April and May 2020, which are located in various areas nationwide, are projected to open 19,894 positions available to Filipino workers.

This number will increase as the PEZA Board approves more projects in its next meeting this July 10.

PEZA DOLLAR sub-projects Aside from the Job Fair, there are four other sub-projects under the DOLLAR program.

These are the following:

1. Innovation & Livelihood Expo – Locators and other PEZA-registered enterprises need project-based suppliers outsourced from our entrepreneurs and small and single proprietor business owners.

2. Online SEZ Training – Online SEZ Institute skills training for all ages and other potential skills training.

3. Import and Export Expo – This provides matching our local produce and raw materials with those of our exporters’ needs.

4. Logistics, Transportation, Utilities, and Supply Chain Expo – Through Joint Ventures and PPP, this aims to accelerate rural progress and build eco-towns, eco-cities, and new metropolitan areas in every region.

According to Plaza, “The DOLLAR program aims to promote and accelerate industrial, economic, and social development of the country so that jobs can be provided for the Filipino people, especially among those living in rural areas.”

The PEZA Chief noted that “The Philippines is rich in both human capital and natural resources.

The Filipino workforce is sought-after by foreign investors because they are young, dynamic, intelligent, equipped with global-knowledge and skills, and can speak English well.”

“Aside from its mandate to register, manage, and operate public and private economic zones in the country, it is PEZA’s goal to transform Filipinos into being multi-knowledge, multi-skilled, and world-class workers in every region of the country,” said Plaza.

The DOLLAR program will be fully implemented in coordination with its ecozones, LGUs, locators, and industry associations in the coming months. Their inputs and expertise will help map out jobs, livelihood, and develop other resource opportunities.

“Once we can finalize the procedure for the program and DOLLAR Job Fair online job search platform on our website, we will implement the job fair using physical and virtual avenues with strict observance of the quarantine measures. This platform is just one of the many ways we can help our country and fellowmen cope with the pandemic’s effect. We can make through it with our Bayanihan spirit,” noted Plaza.

PEZA aims to have a soft launching of the DOLLAR job fair on Monday, July 13.

“The DOLLAR program and its sub-projects will be an avenue to respond in the President’s call to spread the development of economic zones in the countryside (Administrative Order No. 18). This program is also in support to the “Balik-Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa” program of the administration, attracting and encouraging investors to locate in the rural areas and fully utilize the country by creating jobs for Filipinos, bringing in new technology, lower poverty and crime incidence among others,” noted Plaza.