Many Ilonggos have gained access to employment opportunities because more investors are coming in to Western Visayas to improve the employment situation in the region.
Labor force participation increased to 64 percent this year posting a 0.2 increase compared to the previous year rate of 63.8 percent (Table 1).
Employment rate in the region for this year at 94 percent increased by 1 percent compared to the previous year.
On the other hand, underemployment rate increased by 0.3 percent compared to previous year at 21.1 percent. The unemployment rate this year decreased by 1 percent from 6 percent last year. According to acting DOLE R-6 Director Salome Siaton, the number of reasons for the positive news is the building construction frenzy in the city and suburbs resulting in the hiring of more construction workers.
April 2014 & 2015
Source: PSA-BLES, Labor Force Survey – April 2015 Issue
Note: Rates were computed based on rounded figures.
Job opportunities are opens in the fields of business process outsourcing offices (BPOs) that spurred employment in Iloilo City for almost half a decade.
According to JoevenTansi, deputy executive director of Iloilo Federation for Information Technology (IFIT), the BPO industry in Iloilo City has generated employment for almost 4,000 Ilonggos in 12 different outsourcing companies.
Tansi said the figure is only in Iloilo City alone and does not include home-based Ilonggo workers, which are growing in number.
Tansi noted that while agriculture remains to be the top industry in Iloilo, BPO has pushed the economic growth of the city in an unprecedented manner and opened its doors to more international investors.
Tansi said Iloilo has been one of the forerunners as a BPO destination in the national and international levels.
The Iloilo Business Park is the Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) sector. In line with Megaworld’s efforts to extend its reach to provincial centers, the company also launched a major project in Western Visayas particularly in Iloilo City, the region’s business and commercial center. It is a sprawling 72-hectare mixed-use development project in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.
On a piece of prime property that used to be a major airport, Megaworld intends to put up first-class hotels, a commercial area, a modern lifestyle mall, BPO office buildings, and a convention center that can accommodate thousands of people.
They announced their plan to build ten office towers at the Iloilo Business Park by 2021. The office towers will provide a total of about 100,000 square meters of office space, generating approximately 30,000 jobs in the (IT-BPO).
For the salary of people, DOLE-6 has announced that minimum wage earners in Western Visayas will start receiving the P11.50 wage increase starting May 2, 2015 (Table 2).
The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB)-6, attached agency of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) mandated to prescribe the minimum wage rates for all private enterprise workers in the region, approved Wage Order No. RBVI-22 last March 27, 2015.
The mandate was affirmed by the National Wages and Productivity Commission on April 15, 2015.
NesaNolido, Board Secretary of RTWPB-6 said the new wage order granted an adjustment of P11.50 for employees in the private sector both for the agricultural and non-agricultural.
For non-agriculture, industrial and commercial establishments employing more than 10 workers, the new wage rate starting May 2 will be P298.50 and P256.50 for those employing ten and below.
Workers in the agricultural plantation will receive P266.50 while those in non-plantations will be paid P256.50.
Unemployed occurred because there are lots of people who don’t desire to work. During job fair lots of vacant seats but only few people came and not all of them can make it. It is because they have lack of experiences and they applied to the works that are not suitable for their degrees. Then lots of companies offers a job but the people prefer to apply in fast foods or in malls rather than in companies.
The economy is affected by those unemployed. It cannot really feel because it is still growing. One example is the street vendorsin downtown that makes the place unorganized that it shows that the economy is not really progressive. They are employed workers but they are belongs to underemployed.
To maintain the change of unemployment rate, the DOLE has their livelihood programs that include livelihood formation which they build new project and hired people to work in. Another one is livelihood restoration. It is for those people who are victims of calamities. They also have projects that help to enhance the business or programs of others.
Additional is the national skill register program which they have their registration for the skills of the people then they group them and help to find a job available in their area. For the beginners or for the students, they have Government Internship Program that helps the students to have their early experience before they graduate and develops awareness for the job they choose.
The economy of Western Visayas will continue to stay strong in the remaining quarters of the years. Services (retail, transport, food services, etc.) and industry sectors (construction, manufacturing and mining) will still be the highest contributors to the regional economy. This is attributable to the development of real estate and construction activities in the region as top investors like Megaworld Corp. which continues to bring in international standard hotels to their development sites.
The job seekers should find a job appropriate to their degree. This should be their guide to have a work. The employment rate in Western Visayas can increase every year.Many opportunities have been waiting for everyone.
An interview with Ms.Amalia N. Judicpa, Regional Communication Officer of DOLE-6