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DOLE Tags Agriculture as Bikol’s Key Employment Generator


Danny O. Calleja | Vox Bikol

Monday, August 16th, 2010

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 13 – Agribusiness has topped the list of growing industries in Bikol that would serve as Key Employment Generators (KEGS) in the next 10 years, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional office here.

A nationwide study called Project Jobs Fit (PJF) recently completed by the DOLE has actually identified a broad volume of job opportunities but listed only 108 in-demand yet hard-to-fill occupations across all of the economy’s KEGS and emerging industries until 2010, Alvin Villamor, DOLE’s regional director said over the week.

With agribusiness topping the list in Bikol and in all the other agricultural regions of the country, the industry needs agricultural economist; aqua-culturist; coconut, fruit, vegetable and root crop farmers; entomologists; fisherman; horticulturists; plant mechanic; rice thresher operator-mechanics; veterinarians; and plant pathologists, among others, Villamor said.

Other industry sectors having the potential of absorbing the greatest number of the local workforce in the next 10 years, he said are cyberservices, health and wellness, hotel, restaurant and tourism, mining, construction, banking and finance, manufacturing, ownership dwellings and real estate, transport and logistics, wholesale and retail trade.

For cyberservices, the demand is for call center agents; nurses, herbologists, opticians and optometrists for health, wellness and medical tourism; front office agents, bakers, food servers and handlers, food and beverage service attendants, waiters, bartenders, room attendants, other housekeeping services, reservations officers and other frontline occupations and tour guides.

Mining occupations for mining engineers, geologists, laboratory technicians, heavy equipment operators, machine operators and miners would also be needed while the construction sector would require more laborers, fabricators, pipe fitters, foremen, masons and welders, Villamor said.

The banking and finance sector on the other hand would be hiring additional and new finance and accounting managers, operations managers and tellers; manufacturing-electrical technicians, food technologists, machine operators and sewers; ownership dwellings, real/retirement estate- real estate brokers, marketers, building managers, construction managers and workers.

The transport and logistics sectors would need checkers, maintenance mechanics and stewards /stewardess while the wholesale and retail would take in merchandisers, buyers, sales personnel, promos, and so on, and so forth, the DOLE regional head said.

PJF also identified the need to buttress the four emerging industries expected to reinforce employment opportunities in the next 10 years, namely creative industries, diversified or strategic farming and fishing, power and utilities and renewable energy, Villamor said.

As what Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz has said, Villamor stressed that “we will now need to build systematically the environment necessary to cultivate workers’ skills and employability in approaching these hard-to fill jobs and ensuring the growth of our main employment generators now and in the future.”

Meanwhile, Baldoz in a statement released here Thursday, said that the Philippines through PJF has achieved a breakthrough study identifying the skills needs of its industries in the next 10 years, which will be relevant in the country’s efforts to mitigate local unemployment, consistent with President Benigno Aquino’s 22-point agenda to reinvigorate labor and employment.

She said the government is now looking forward by initiating concrete measures to pursue the objectives of the study, and set the appropriate foundation towards a job-friendly economy that is equipped with the capacity to mitigate brain drain and the challenge of mismatch in the jobs available in industry and the skills of the labor force.

She said that the study has “essentially been reviewed and found of practical merit and significance in the momentous political and administrative shift, adding the ball is now in our hands to implement it amidst the intention of the President to boost the jobs situation in our country.”

Baldoz also suggested to industry leaders in the Philippines to utilize the strengths of tripartism positively by naming representatives in their collective bargaining agreements who would look at and resolve all issues, including the all-important need to boost the training, education, and local job opportunities growth benefiting Filipino workers.

The over 200-page study result is now available to the tripartite partners and all interested sectors and the public, for downloading online from the BLE website, accessible at http://ble.dole.gov.ph, or the DOLE website at http://www.dole.gov.ph. (PNA)

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