LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 30 (PNA) -- Technical and vocational workers significantly contributed to the high employment rate achieved by Bicol this year, a top official of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Bicol said Tuesday.
Conrado Barres, TESDA regional director, said majority of those employed were graduates of technical and vocational courses in Bicol.
The latest national Labor Force Survey (LFS) done by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that Bicol posted the second highest employment rate, the second among the regions.
PSA said out of the 3.7 million working population in Bicol, 96.2 percent or 2.4 million people are employed. It said this even surpassed the 93.9 percent national employment rate.
Barres, in an interview, said the high employment rate may be attributed to the soaring number of technical and vocational workers group employed by the services, industry, trade, manufacturing and agriculture sectors.
He estimated that eight out of 10 people employed are either technical or vocational workers.
Rey Merjilla, PSA supervising statistical specialist, in an interview, said the major occupational group that contributed to the employment growth rate came from the ranks of laborers at 35 percent, farmers--18 percent, government workers --14 percent and service workers--13 percent.
He said professionals such as engineers, doctors, lawyers and accountants accounted for 4 percent, trade related workers--6 percent, clerks --4 percent, plant and machine assemblers--3 percent and technicians--2 percent.
PSA said the Bicol economy last year recorded the highest growth rate with 8.4 percent growth in terms of Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) or PHP154 billion in goods and services produced compared to all the other regions in the country.
According to its latest report, the accelerated growth was fuelled by infrastructure projects that hiked government spending. These projects in turn required the services of a big number of laborers.
Barres said that under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, TESDA will continue to embark on programs aimed at poverty reduction by enhancing “productive and world-class skilled workforce that would meet global competitiveness standards.”
He said the agency would launch a two-pronged strategy to highlight its flagship program “Barangay Kasanayan para sa Kabuhayan at Kapayapaan.” (Skills Training in the village for livelihood and peace)
The program will provide education and skills trainings to identified poor villages in Bicol.
He said the initial phase of the program will cover villages in the fifth and sixth class towns in the region.
This year, TESDA in Bicol has poured PHP80 million to fund various skills training projects.
Camarines Sur had the biggest slice of this fund at PHP28 million, followed by Albay with PHP18 million, Sorsogon-PHP10 million, Masbate-PHP9 million, Camarines Norte-PHP8 million and Catanduanes-PHP7 million.
Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bicol cited the other programs of other agencies for the high employment rate of Bicol.
“The convergence of programs from other agencies and local government units has also brought Bicol to this high employment rate,” said Atty. Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla, Officer-in-Charge Regional Director of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-Bicol.
For instance, she cited DOLE’s major employment enhancement programs like the job fairs, job search kiosks, government internship program or GIP, DOLE Kabuhayan Starter Kit, Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers or TUPAD and Special Program for the Employment of Students or SPES.(PNA) FPV/GVR/MSA/CBD/EBP