As the community quarantine comes to its 6th month, the labor market situation in the National Capital Region (NCR) has become greatly affected. To ensure that the local Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs) continue to uphold its commitment to its mandate despite the pandemic, the Department of Labor and Employment – National Capital Region held a learning session on strategic planning on Labor Market Information and Career Guidance Advocacy to PESO Pasay on September 3, 2020.

DOLE-NCR Senior Labor and Employment Officer Ryan Roberto Delos Reyes briefed the participants as to how NCR stands amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He explained that NCR is the most affected region in the country not only in terms of cases and deaths but also unemployment. Noting that compared to other regions that have strong industrial and agricultural sectors, NCR has a highly service sector driven economy and with the quarantine measures ongoing, it has become harder for the region to revert to its pre-pandemic state.

DOLE-NCR Labor and Employment Officer Allyson Lorraine Arceo presented the LMI situation during the COVID-19 pandemic—an environmental scanning research conducted by the Office that helps provide a clear regional situation and labor market landscape.

Arceo stressed the direct blow that both the formal and informal economy suffered. Due to the strict confinement measures and restrictions in mobility of people, goods and services, there was a decline in employment rate and an increase in unemployment and underemployment rate compared to last year. These are also manifested in the displaced, laid off workers, and workers affected by the flexible working schemes implemented by different companies in order to sustain their operations.

During her presentation, Arceo also discussed the key employment generators of the region—how these were affected and how they are coping with the new normal. She also emphasized how the changes brought by the new normal have placed not just the country but also the world in a situation of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. She also identified jobs that are retained and some even in-demand in the new normal era and highlighted how crucial it is for the workforce to be equipped with relevant digital and 21st century skills to remain competitive in the market.

The session is DOLE’s way of delivering relevant information about the labor situation and to help provide insights to the partner PESOs in addressing their constituents’ employment issues and challenges.

END / Mary Chelsea Espinosa