MANILA, Philippines – Don’t be choosy, take the emergency job.
This was Malacañang’s advice Saturday to Filipino workers retrenched from their jobs here and in recession-wracked countries amid the deepening global downturn.
The government is offering emergency jobs in different departments and agencies which had been instructed to save 1.5 percent of their operating expenses in order to generate 180,000 jobs.
Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said the Department of Public Works and Highways was providing emergency temporary employment for 500,000 individuals and had approved the application of 200,000.
Those hired would be deployed in the department’s priority infrastructure projects.
As of early March, over 40,000 Filipinos had been laid off here and abroad as the global economic recession swept across two-thirds of the world and crept into Asia.
Remonde, however, said that displaced overseas Filipino workers should not expect to get the same jobs in the government.
“That’s why we have retraining and reorientation,’’ he said over Radyo ng Bayan, referring to the programs provided by the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (Tesda) for displaced workers.
“Let’s be clear. These are emergency employment. That’s why we appeal to our displaced workers – they should not expect to get the same jobs that they lost,’’ he said.
“What’s important is that there are jobs available, and there is money to put food on the table,’’ he said.
Displaced workers should coordinate with the regional offices of the Department of Labor and Employment to find out what jobs are available for them here and abroad, Remonde said.
“President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has directed Labor Secretary Marianito Roque to draw up a list of displaced workers and forward this to Cabinet secretaries for possible employment in the regions,’’ he said.
The administration’s emergency employment program will kick off next month after the guidelines have been drawn up, Roque said.
During the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Roque said the government would mark June 12 or Independence Day by embarking on a massive emergency employment program.
“This will be the time to commence the hiring of emergency employees who would serve the government for the next six months,’’ he said.–TJ Burgonio, Philippine Daily Inquirer