The pandemic continues to affect many Filipinos, and many have lost their jobs due to company closures, cancellation of projects and business cuts. Even OFWs were forced to return home after being displaced from their jobs abroad.
In April 2021, the Philippine unemployment rate was estimated at 8.7 percent, while it is significantly lower than the record high of 17.6 percent from the same time last year, but still accounts for 4.14 million people who are still unemployed. Sectors still affected includes retail, construction and manufacturing.
SMDC has not been reluctant to lend a helping hand, but has hosted a series of its Good Guys job fairs for residents in the surrounding areas where there is an SMDC community. In collaboration with the SM Foundation, SM Malls, the Philippine Red Cross, local police districts and local government units (LGUs), the company invites its suppliers and contractors who accept job openings for masons, electricians, households and the like. .
SMDC has already hosted job fairs in cities like Paranaque, most recently in Novaliches, Quezon City, where they worked with the Quezon City Police District for their “Serbisyong Tama Caravan”. “In this partnership between the public and private sectors, we strive to contribute to the country’s eventual growth. Hopefully, these kinds of initiatives will strengthen the relationship between the private sector, the police force and society, ”said Police Brigadier General Antonio Yarra, District Director of QCPD. “We should all be united so that we can lift each other up from the crisis caused by the pandemic. This job fair aims to bring opportunities closer to communities and other sectors so that people can acquire jobs that suit their qualifications. ”
Many of the applicants who participated in the job fair were employed on site by SMDC’s contractors and suppliers.
A new job with new hope
One of the new hires was Jose Nelson Mativo, who applied as the final wall. Before the pandemic hit, Jose had a stable stay because there were so many construction projects that needed his skill and he earned enough for his wife and child. But COVID-19 happened, leaving him without a job because projects were stopped and he could not go to work. Without sufficient savings and a source of income to sustain them, he and his family had to rely on government relief supplies and relatives’ donations.
When the restrictions were lifted, Jose was able to find a few jobs in his area and was able to earn a little, which was still not enough to make ends meet for his now growing family. “Kaya nga ophidset ako nung may nagsabi sa akin na kakilala ko mula sa Barangay Gulod na magkakaroon dw ng job fair and SMDC ditto sa SM Novaliches. Para daw ito sa mga byggearbejdere til kagaya ko,“He shared.
On the day of the job fair, Jose hurried to SM Novaliches to be first in line. “Sa labas pa lang, kita na agad ang pag-asikaso nila sa mga aplikante. Nandun ang Quezon City Police para tulungan kami sa Police Clearance. Nandun din ang Red Cross para naman sa health requirements namin. ” He applied to three companies, but eventually decided to go with one that had the option of a masonry and electrician, which he could both do. “Nung umuwi ako pagkatapos ng jobmesse, tuwang-tuwa ako. Kasi magkakatrabaho na ako uli. Syempre klar na ako magtrabaho. Para ito sa pamilya. Para ito sa mga anak ko.”
SMDC aims to continue rolling out the Good Guys Job Fair in all cities in the Philippines. The next stage is on July 23, Friday at the basketball court in Brgy. 54 in Pasay City.
For more information on SMDC and its various Community programs, visit https://smdc.com/.
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