A GRATEFUL BENEFICIARY. Evlex Lexiris Galera currently working as scaffolder in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
A GRATEFUL BENEFICIARY. Evlex Lexiris Galera currently working as scaffolder in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Job-to-skill mismatch is one of the lingering factors why unemployment is high in Caraga. This includes the numerous Pantawid Pamilya ng Pilipino Program beneficiaries of the region; access to gainful employment is a challenge to them.

To address this growing problem, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) in this region in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) worked together to successfully implement the Livelihood and Employment Assistance Forum (LEAF) Caraga.

This project aims to widen up the job opportunities for Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries by accessing them to the programs and services of DOLE and other stakeholders. Further, it will also reduce the challenges of job-and-skill mismatch.

Skills and employment profile of the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries are submitted to DOLE prior to the conduct of LEAF to match the skills of the participants with the current demand in the local and overseas labor market.

Further, a Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar (PEOS) is conducted preceding LEAF to strengthen the capacities of the participants in order for them to secure employment through updates on the new trends, technologies in the labor market and preparation of job documents.

During the activity, One-Stop-Shop processing of employment documents is set-up to cater the needs of the applicants to process papers for NSO, SSS, PhilHealth, to update and enroll in NBI, to register for free assessment in TESDA, to have LGU and CTC issuances; and to avail DSWD free ID picture. With this, they wouldn’t have to spend much on transportation to secure the necessary documents.

Moreover, the program also provides Pre-Employment Assistance Fund (PEAF) especially to those who are in dire need to comply requirements for overseas job opportunities. This modality supports SLP participants needing financial assistance to acquire the pre-employment requirements of potential or guaranteed employers. A maximum of Php5,000.00 may be availed by each participant.

An interview with two of the program participants who are now in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through Facebook was recently conducted.

Evlex Lexiris Galera and Jalie Bernil are Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries from Nasipit, Agusan del Norte and Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur respectively. In partnership with East West Placement Center Inc, they are now working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as scaffolder and steel fixer.

“Tungod sa LEAF, nakakita na ko ug trabaho ug  naa na koy source sa income para sa mga kinahanglanon sa ako pamilya (Through LEAF, I have found a job, hence, I now have a source of income for my family),” Evlex said.

 “Dako akoang pasalamat ug kalipay sa tabang na nahatag sa akoa sa SLP (I’m greatly happy and grateful with the help SLP has given to me),” he added.

Malaki ang pasasalamat ko sa DSWD at sisikapin kong maging mabuting ehemplo sa aking mga kapwa manggagawa (I’m greatly grateful to DSWD and I will try hard to become a role model to my fellow workers),” Jalie shared.

HAPPY and PROUD. Jalie Bernil working as steel fixer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
HAPPY and PROUD. Jalie Bernil working as steel fixer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Through LEAF, many were given a chance to improve their lives. This partnership program is a proof that the spirit of Convergence and Bayanihan to help those in need still exists.

As of 2015 accomplishment, SLP Caraga has provided employment to 9, 194 program participants both local and overseas job opportunities.

SLP is a program that provides identified poor families the appropriate income-generating opportunities through microenterprise or employment, to help improve their level of economic sufficiency. ###(MARY CARMELLE C. JUMAWAN/Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga)