ZAMBOANGA CITY — Not one to hold back from its mandate of facilitating employment for jobseekers, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 9 successfully staged the online Trabaho Negosyo Kabuhayan at Kasanayan Job and Business Fair two days even before Independence Day started despite the limitations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the theme “Kalayaan 2021: Diwa sa Pagkakaisa at paghilom ng Bayan”, the job fair aims to help unemployed “kababayans” find local jobs in the labor market, especially those who lost their jobs when the pandemic hit.

Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe stressed in his opening remarks that this year’s job fair is different from the previous ones in that an online facility will be used to collect application requirements from jobseekers instead of the usual face-to-face. Interviews are also done via teleconference once a qualified applicant makes it into the interview stage.

“We opened the registration earlier to allow applicants ample time to shop for job vacancies they’re interested in. What’s good with the online facility is that it’s very user-friendly. By June 10, applications were already underway until its culmination on June 12 which is Araw ng Kalayaan,” Director Buenafe added.

A total of 406 vacancies offered by 12 local employers were available to jobseekers.

To ensure that all bases are covered, DOLE 9 also established drop box sites in three (3) strategic locations – Zamboanga City Hall, KCC Mall de Zamboanga and SM Mindpro – to cater to walk-in clients. Zamboanga City Mayor Isabelle Climaco-salazar showed support as she delivered a short message to applicants at the drop box site in City Hall.

Out of 2,077 registered applicants, only 270 were qualified and interviewed. A total of 50 job seekers were then hired on the spot (HOTS) while 17 were labeled near-hires who only need to comply with additional requirements to get hired.

“We are also thankful to our partner agencies, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) 9 headed by RD Dan M. Navarro and Department of Trade and Industry under the leadership of RD Ceferino J. Rubio for giving more value to the online TNKK through the free virtual sessions,” RD Buenafe shared.

TESDA 9 offered free online demonstrations for various skills such as Cookery and Animation to 66 participants via Zoom teleconference.

DTI 9 trained a total of 32 participants on various entrepreneurship topics such as digital marketing, how to start a business and provided one-on-one coaching on Marketing. END