Becoming a symbol of hope for many Filipinos amidst the pandemic, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), with the support of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Office of Senator Bong Go, among other partners has finally launched the much-awaited DOLLAR online job expo and online skills training on Wednesday, July 29.

PEZA Director General Charito “Ching” Plaza expressed that, “through DOLLAR program, PEZA seeks to be a symbol of hope for our country and fellowmen to somewhat cushion the severe impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic to our economy and livelihood.”

PEZA CHARITO PLAZA BELLO DTI LOPEZ

“Even during these trying times, PEZA works on its goal to continually transform Filipinos into being multi-knowledge, multi-skilled, and world-class workers in every region of the country.”

PEZA has now opened the online portal of the job expo for all unemployed Filipinos and repatriated OFWs, with jobs for newly graduates and under work-from-home arrangements being offered. The portal can be accessed through www.workbank.com/dc/peza-online-job-fair. Any interested job applicants may access the website anytime, anywhere using their computers and smartphones.

In this online platform which can be found in PEZA website, the public, any interested Filipino working age, can search the available jobs which is a total of 69,081 and counting which are located in PEZA registered companies and ecozones.

Encouraging OFWs and commending industries

Present during the launching as among the keynote speakers and special guests, PEZA Board chairman and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez congratulated PEZA for its initiative to help the unemployed especially this time of pandemic.

“I am here to congratulate and support this noble project of PEZA. Now is the time to create these initiatives. This is really thinking out of the box on how we can really promote the creation of jobs amidst the pandemic,” said Lopez.

The DTI Secretary pointed out that PEZA’s online job fair and skills trainings are very much aligned with the efforts being done by DTI and other agencies to aid our repatriated OFWs and the locally unemployed Filipinos.

“[Programs like this] will really empower our OFWs… In an economy that’s really offering a lot of good potential and bright opportunities just like the Philippines, it’s okay to go back because we have a lot of opportunities now than before,” said Lopez.

Saying that “basta may negosyo, may trabaho” so the continued operation of ecozones and its help to generating jobs cannot be overemphasized, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III likewise commended PEZA for prioritizing the repatriated OFWs as “they are the most stable, industrious, and trust-worthy workers in the whole world.”

“The role of service providers and investment promoters of our economic zones cannot be over-emphasized… the active engagement of these key pillars, is the fuel to rev up our workforce,” said Bello.

Lopez also commended the efforts of export companies like EMS Components and Assembly Inc. for “repurposing some of their manufacturing activities so that we can develop our capacity to develop domestically.”

Notably, the Philippines’ export sector growing positively as of Jan-Feb 2020 right before the lockdown.

Like PEZA, DTI and DOLE remain positive that the Philippines and its people will be able to bounce back from the devastation brough about by this crisis.

Support to the Balik Probinsya Program

According to Plaza, “this move is in support of the Administrative Order (AO) No. 18 and Executive Order (EO) No. 114 otherwise known as “The Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa Program”, which was originally proposed by Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.”

Though he cannot join physically for the launching, Senator Go expressed his support to the DOLLAR program as it complements the Balik-Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa program. He described the DOLLAR program as PEZA’s initiative to generate or open employments for displaced workers in the time of pandemic is a form of “malasakit” to the Filipino people.

“This will surely help in attracting and encouraging investors to locate in the rural areas and in creating jobs for Filipinos, bringing in new technology, and lower poverty and crime incidence among others,” said Sen. Go.

According to the PEZA Chief, “COVID cannot stop PEZA to perform its mandate to the Philippines and the Filipino people. With the present conditions, PEZA is more aggressive to implement its 10-point programs and special projects, which aims to fully industrializing the country, promote investments, and create employment.”

The DOLLAR Job Expo will also kick off in the three public economic zones and in Davao: August 6 in Cavite Economic Zone (CEZ), August 17 in Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ), August 19 in Davao SEZs, and August 25 in Baguio City Economic Zone (BCEZ).

The DOLLAR program’s Job Expo online job search platform is powered by WorkBank Philippines Inc. while the Online Skills Training is powered in partnership with CREOTEC Philippines, Inc.

Attendees in the launching include the signatories of MOUs with PEZA for its Ka-PIPPs program that build partnerships with organizations and heads and officers of the Federation of Economic Zones Services Providers (FEZSP) who took their oath before Secretary Lopez.