EXPRESSING concern on the city’s future professionals, Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte strongly urged hundreds of college graduates not to apply on jobs that do not suit the programs they finished in college.
At the same time, Belmonte said they should not accept low-skill jobs that companies offer them.
Belmonte expressed her ideas during the eighth commencement exercises of Colegio de Sta. Teresa de Avila in Mother Ignacia Avenue because she does not want the new graduates to “be exposed to abuse and hardships.” Belmonte expressed her concern because of reports that scores of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), especially those in Kuwait, are reportedly undergoing ill treatment by their employers while working as domestic helpers.
A few were even murdered, she noted.
Belmonte told the new graduates that “I am not in favor of your getting jobs that you do not like and requiring lower skills than what you have gained in studying college.”
To convince the fresh graduates on the veracity of her point, Belmonte presented to them what she and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio have learned in Hong Kong in February that many Filipinos who were college graduates are now working as household-service workers.
“Some were graduates of education and hospitality management and are working as domestic helpers with no days-off. Their passports were even being kept by their employers. Many of them rest for only three to four hours a day,” Belmonte further told the graduates in English and Filipino.
Because of problems working abroad, Belmonte stressed the government is doing its duty by improving the economy better and providing opportunities where the young graduates could find decent and appropriate jobs with fair and just compensation.
“The government seeks to ensure that many Filipinos seek overseas employment because the only jobs available for them here are low paying,” she said in Filipino. She also pointed out that it is “our responsibility to stabilize our nation’s politics so that investments will continue to flow into our country [in order to] ensure that [high-paying] jobs [that will be] available to you [will] continue to increase.”
Citing figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Belmonte said the country’s underemployment rate increased from 16.3 percent in January 2017 to 18 percent in January 2018 because the monthly salaries of the existing jobs could not afford the unabated hike of the cost of living in the country. The jobless rate, however, declined to 5.3 percent last January 2018 from 6.6 percent in January 2017 amid the growing labor force population in the country, Belmonte said.