The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all facets of the society. From economy to employment, rich or poor—all felt the adverse effects of the current situation brought forth by said illness. With the economy trying to rebound through the various government initiatives, employment is likely to be influenced by its results.

As education is tied with employment, the sector is preparing its duty-bearers to address the changes reeled by the COVID-19 disease. It is in this premise that the Department of Labor and Employment – National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) was tapped to provide relevant information on the labor market in line with the conduct of work immersion and career choice.

On September 24, 2020, the Mandaluyong City’s Department of Education (DepEd) in coordination with the said locality’s Public Employment Service Office (PESO) led by Emma L. Javier, invited DOLE-NCR to present its current labor market study in order to guide the Senior High School (SHS) teachers in providing pertinent career information choices to their stakeholders. Senior Labor and Employment Officer Ryan Roberto E. Delos Reyes and Labor and Employment Officer II Allyson Lorraine Arceo of the Employment Promotion and Workers Welfare Division provided technical assistance as resource persons in said activity.

In his presentation, Delos Reyes discussed the labor advisories issued by the Department as regard the Work Immersion Program in line with the Enhanced Basic Education Act or the K to 12 Law. He stressed consciousness on compliance with policies relevant to protection of children and protocols on safety in forging agreements with partner establishments. He likewise highlighted the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the conduct of immersion especially for those with academic tracks that will use machines and other similar tools. He also mentioned the importance of work immersion so as to develop skills and competencies needed by the industries in order to address the concerns of Job-Skills mismatch and maintain a vibrant labor market.

Delos Reyes further impressed on the participants that work immersion, per DOLE Labor Advisory No. 08-2016, “shall in no case result in the replacement of or diminution of benefits of the workers in the partner enterprise/company,” as a reminder that the training modality shall not be used to circumvent labor laws.

Arceo on the other hand, presented the NCR Regional Situationer amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and gave a bird’s eye view of the region’s labor market landscape. Her presentation included disaggregated data of COVID-19 cases per locality, gainers and losers on the identified regional key employment generators, and jobs in the new normal. She also mentioned the preferred and needed skills in relation to the demands of the companies and various sectors in the region.

The orientation and topics were appreciated by the participants as one commented: “The information given by the speakers are very timely and relevant; it gave us new ideas and the data are well presented; it will enable us to be effective in the provision of career choices to our students.”

The initiative is part of the Department’s interventions to ensure the continuous provision of relevant employment programs and services particularly in advocating the current labor market information and other pertinent data on employment so as to contribute to manpower development and poverty reduction in the region.

END / Ryan Roberto Delos Reyes