TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, August 24 (PIA)— She never expected fate to finally be kind to her.
Twenty-one years old Mariel Tocmo of Datag Sur, Balilihan has too many frustrations as a job seeker, she could not stop from thinking today was no different.
A graduate of Corella National High School, Mariel admits her family has only enough to get by, not comfortably.
“My father died, and being the youngest in the family, it is just about time I help,” she timidly shared in a chance casual conversation.
As she was saying this, hundreds of job seekers were also in different processes of proving to the 6 international and 8 local employment agencies present during the Jobs Fair at the Bohol Cultural Center, that they have just the right skills for the job needed.
A job fair offered by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to commemorate the National Technical Vocational (TechVoc) Week, other government agencies pitched in to elevate the TESDA skills bridging into a full scale employment event.
With the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) JobStart and the Provincial Government through the Bohol Employment Placement Office (BEPO), the one day Jobs Fair hoped to reduce unemployment and push for economic productivity for people of the employable age, explained BEPO Officer In Charge Ma. Vilma Yorong during the jobs fair.
“We are expecting over 800 job seekers today,” former TESDA information officer Jaminel Damolo said.
Finding a job has become Mariel’s priority. After years of staying at home and helping her 62-year-old mother weave baskets and cope with her quota, the closest she had to getting hired was a promise of a call after every job interview. None came.
“I am the youngest, my elder brother works as a kitchen staff in a city restaurant, the others have married and taken on families,” she added, detailing about her siblings.
While waiting for the lucky job call, she doubles up as a basket weaver helping her mother Flavia come up with the weekly quota of 60 baskets a month. This they would sell at P6.00 each.
“It is a tough work you could easily get hurt as bamboos are sharp and baskets are meticulously done, getting wounded is always a possibility.”
One time, Mariel availed of a Local Government Unit of Balilihan and Antequera-organized TESDA training for work as contact center agent in Tagbilaran.
For two weeks, she thought she had fattened her chances of a job.
TESDA keeps a policy for their accredited Technical Vocational Institutions (TVI) offering the government scholarships to facilitate the hiring of at least 50% of their enrollees.
Still, Mariel did not make the cut, and her Qualfon chance proved to be tough, the work requirements were hard to come by.
So today, August 24 should be like any of those times she kept the hope.
“I did not tell my mother that I would be here to apply for a job, she might expect too much,” she confessed, trying to mask a smile already forming in her face.
The story of Mariel Fe Tocmo, is almost the same as that of Marchelle Comoylao of Cambu-ac Sur Sikatuna.
A graduate of Sikatuna National High School in 2014, at 20 years old, Marchelle, despite being the youngest, has been on the look-out for a job that offers her a better future.
“I have an elder brother who, while waiting for job call, as a seaman, helps my father as carpenter worker. My mother keeps the house,” she noted.
Now working as a boutique attendant in a Tagbilaran City mall, she has doubled up as a babysitter to her sister’s kids, but that is not what she wanted in her life.
“It is never easy, I have to find a job to help my family,” she stressed.
But like Mariel, job seeking in never really easy. To expand her chances, she sought for other skills.
“I took up cookery through a TESDA scholarship for 2 months, buts still job is elusive,” Marchelle said, modest in a rose pink blouse and striped black and while skirt, coming to chance during the job fair.
But in a sudden twist of luck, both Mariel and Marchelle were among the 17 others who were hired on the spot (HOTS) by noon time during the one day Jobs fair.
Both and 10 more were told to report to Mitsumi Danao, an electro mechanics solutions provider combining advanced technologies from a wide range of fields including ultra-precision mechanical components (such as ball bearings), motors, sensors, semi-conductors, wireless communication—and fuse machines and electronics with control technologies.
Along with Mitsumi were 8 local companies scouting for new workers to prop up their work force including Alturas Group of Companies, Bohol Quality, Henan Resort, Prescon Philippines, Sherwood bay Resort, Taytay sa Kauswagan Incorporated and Reynas Garden and Haven.
The Jobs Fair also attracted 6 international companies: East West placement center, FVJ Overseas Placement, Golden Legacy Jobmovers Inc., IUPP Inc., JobsGlobal Employment Services Inc. and Lead Resources Management Corp, bared BEPO OIC Yorong.
TESDA technical education skills development specialist Rosemarie Banol also assured that the placement companies joining the fair were screened by BEPO and found to be legitimate and are permitted to set up manning services.
Having gone through months upon months of trying to land into jobs, Tocmo and Comoylao also learned something about the jobs fair.
Totally strangers from each other, seeing that if both keep off from others, job seeking would even be more daunting.
Both naturally got into each other’s support and it took them less than five minutes to be friends.
And one thing Comoylao realized that at the Jobs Fair, if it is the companies who look for workers, the tendency is to make everything easy, compared to when one is in need and applies for a job which the company has no need at that time.
“Thanks to TESDA, DTI, DOLE Jobstart and PLGU BEPO, we can now be taken off the list of the province’s unemployed,” both quipped, happiness brimming as the eagerness to break the good news home seems hard to overpower. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)
WHO are HOTS and who are not? 17 young Boholano job seekers got Hired On The Spot (HOTS) as the TESDA with DTI, DOLE and BEPO offered a Jobs Fair to commemorate the National TechVoc Week. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)