Archive for the ‘workplace’ Category

Who says we are spared from the effects of recession?

February 26, 2009

Presidential spokesman Anthony Golez said the Philippines wasn’t among the Asian countries affected by the worldwide recession. It might be a lie that Malacanang Palace wanted us to believe. He based his conclusion to the non-inclusion of the country in the International Labor Organization (ILO) list which projects 113 million jobs loss in Asia as the world economy continues to falter (Malaya , 02/20/09 Bengco, R.) According to ILO, the expected unemployment number this year will be more than the 22.3 million jobs Asian countries lost in 2008.

It will do us good if we look closely at the data Golez is referring to before we celebrate. We aren’t that trusting anymore. The effects of the financial meltdown are just beginning to show. It is foolhardy for him and the government he represents to assume that we aren’t affected.

The unemployment we see in the street is a better gauge than the assurances of government officials. We see what food we eat and what clothes we wear. Most of us are familiar of the signs of chronic job loss and their aftermath. The employment stagnation in the country is long-standing and antedates the global economic meltdown.

5,500 OFWs lose jobs—–Arroyo

“Some 5,500 Filipino overseas workers have lost their jobs abroad and returned home over the past four months, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said Thursday. The Department of Labor announced earlier this week that 39,000 Filipinos had lost their jobs since October, a number which included overseas workers.”—Agence France-Presse/ Inquirer (02/26/09)

Foreign companies are pulling out their business operations in Manila. Unemployment among fresh graduates continues to rise. There is pervasive underemployment and lay-offs. The rush for jobs abroad doesn’t abate even if applicants downgrade their qualifications just to grab work even if it is risky and suffers from inadequate pay. With a bearish investment climate, people are afraid to shell out money that stir spending and growth. The number of impoverished Filipinos continues to rise.

Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo’s job creation is too little to assuage the fear and anger of the public. The government projects that are quick-disbursing, high-impact, and labor intensive (according to Management Dir. Hermogenes Esperon) don’t come close to reality when one sees the widespread unemployment, poverty, and corruption in the country. That’s why we rely early on ourselves more than depend on announced legislated measures by the administration. (Photo Credits: Slavishtubesocks; JRIOrion)=0=

3,000 IT & 10,000 semiconductor jobs at risk

At least 3,000 information technology (IT) jobs are at risk in first quarter alone while 10,000 positions in semiconductor industry could be shed during the first half of the year due to the global economic slump.”—GMANewsTV (02/28/09)

=========================================================

Job Outlook 2009: Nurses in USA still in demand, but not in the Philippines

February 4, 2009

Unemployment is rampant as the economic meltdown continues in America. The joblessness in the world’s largest economy is in all time high and still rising. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) January 20, 2009 issue reports the discouraging job loss of 2.6 million last year. Yet, in spite of the alarming unemployment sweeping America today, healthcare sticks out as among the few bright spots in work opportunities. The US healthcare sector posted gains of 419,000 jobs, mostly for nurses in 2008.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the trend is expected to continue till 2016 as Americans grow older and need more medical services. Last year, registered nurses posted 168,000 job placements to cope with the nationwide shortage. The availability of health care jobs including those in home care and nursing homes proves that employment in this sector is relatively recession-proof. Expansion of work opportunities is expected in less intensive training courses like pharmacy and medical assistantships.

This could have been welcoming news for Filipino nurses who seek work opportunities abroad. But with current US visa restrictions and slowing of recruitment of foreign applicants, the need for local healthcare workers in USA doesn’t translate into more foreign nurses getting jobs at this time. There is an emerging nativist US sentiments sparked by the economic downturn which further dampens the interest in hiring nurses from abroad.

There are about 88,750 nurses who took the Philippine board exam in November last year. The 50% (more or less) who will pass and get licensed will add to the nurse unemployment problem which is currently estimated to number about 400,000. The high joblessness rate in the country opens more opportunities for exploitation among these professionals and the government seems inutile in solving it. (Photo Credit: AllwaysNY; Uberdoog)=0=

RELATED BLOGS: “As nursing jobs become scarce, 88,750 brace for the next board examination” Posted by mesiamd at 11/12/2008; “Job prospects for nurses decline” Posted by mesiamd at 6/02/2008

“Filipinos rated most committed to work”

January 27, 2009

The “employee engagement” is supposed to be a measure of “commitment” and “drive” of a worker to achieve a company’s goal. It runs high among Filipinos. That’s according to a recent survey conducted on workers of some top corporations in the country by Watson Wyatt, a global consulting agency. At 77%, the employee engagement for the Philippines has improved from by 4% since 2007. The score is good among countries of the Asia-Pacific region!

Beating of China (66%,) India (75%), Indonesia (71%,) Thailand (72%,) and Malaysia (67%,) RP’s laudable score appeared in the Philipine Daily Inquirer (01/27/09, Dumlao, D)— a business news item entitled “Filipinos rated most committed to work.”

I find the report flattering. Only the workers of top corporations have been included in the poll. The survey outfit admits there are no international standards to determine the socio-political and cultural factors that are unique for each country which may influence the score. Such limitations hardly dispel the doubts of readers.

Whatever this survey is worth, I like to know if there is any difference in the score of workers in the public sector compared to those who are in the government. It would have been better if all in the labor force (not only the corporate employees) were represented in the survey. It would have been more revealing if those in the farms and those employed abroad were included. The result might be more accurate in characterizing the “commitment” of the entire Filipino labor force. (Photo Credit: Bikoy; Neil Alderney 123)=0=

==========================================================

"Best Job in the World” website crashes in a deluge of interested applicants

January 14, 2009

Several hours after the Australian Tourism Department of Queensland announced that a unique job in a Whitsunday Island is seeking a caretaker-promoter to be paid a juicy salary of $100,000, a deluge of applicants and prospective candidates rushed to http://www.islandreefjob.com. Part of its campaign to boost tourism, the website needs a reliable person to live a leisurely life in the enchanting reef-island of Hamilton—a low-stress and “carefree” nature experience in an Aussie seaside paradise that will be shared with a weekly blog, video or a press release.

The position caught the attention of thousands. The sought-after website crashed due to heavy stream of interested individuals worldwide wanting to know about the position whose relaxing duties include fish feeding, cleaning a pool and accepting mail deliveries.

It doesn’t require prior experience and commences on July 1, 2009. One can just imagine the work people prefer.—Yahoo.News/ Reuters (01/14/09, Fahmy, M; Yates, D)(Photo Credit: Miriam36) =0=

RELATED BLOG: “Best job in some enchanted island: Is it for you?” Posted by mesiamd at 1/13/2009

===============================================================

Will RP’s milking cows bring dairy on “Zero Remittance Day”?

October 20, 2008

October 29, 2008 has been chosen by an alliance of 112 organizations worldwide to protest the “forced migration and systemic exploitation of cheap labor.” Dubbed as the “Zero Remittance Day,” the sobering event is timely when a sovereign country like the Philippines has resorted to send its most precious human asset abroad—-the young men and women who are forced to seek menial jobs abroad and bring the needed dollars to shore up the economy. For being a major source of government funds, overseas foreign workers (OFW’s) are regarded as RP’s milking cows.

According to the International Migrants Alliance (IMA,) the protest action coincides with holding of the Global Forum on Migrant Development (GFMD,) which will be in Manila, Philippines. The IMA lambasts GFMD for being an elitist organization which fails to tackle the fundamental problems and issues concerning the growing number of migrants who suffer exploitation, abuses on the job, cheap labor compensation and family displacement. (Photo Credit: blinkdesigns.org) =0=