The first quarter of 2020 saw changes that altered the way things are being viewed and done as the societies in all corners of the globe reeled in the effects of COVID-19 health crisis.

In the Philippines, unemployment rate soared to 17.7% during the height of the pandemic that placed most of the areas in several stages of community quarantine. In effect, movement were restricted and the local economies were almost at standstill. This situation nearly interrupted the entire operations of the various sectors that likewise contributed to the decline of employment. However, duty-bearers did not take the situation lightly and instead, pro-actively delivered the mandates of their offices.

During the height of the pandemic, the Department of Labor and Employment – National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) conducted an environmental scanning to assess the adverse impact of the health crisis in both the region’s economy and employment hence, producing a Labor Market Report that provides a comprehensive analysis of the situation in the region including the identification of “resilient industries” that managed to operate despite the pandemic.

On October 7, 2020, the DOLE-NCR CAMANAVA Field Office, through Director Rowella V. Grande, spearheaded the conduct of virtual orientation on the labor market regional situationer with participants from the Public Employment Service Offices (PESO) in Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela.

During the activity, Senior Labor and Employment Officer Ryan Roberto E. Delos Reyes presented the regional updates on employment and emphasized that the situation has reshaped the labor market landscape of the region, but adding that there are industries that remained operational and proved to be resilient. He also mentioned that the world today is living in the state of “Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity” (VUCA), adding that said words are usually associated in the new normal as the ensuing effects of the pandemic are new. He added, however, that said conditions should not disrupt lives nor should it hamper the delivery of the DOLE programs and services.

He also discussed the projected industry groups in NCR that holds the greatest potential to generate employment, such as in the Health and Wellness, Logistics, Wholesale and Retail Trade, and IT-BPM. He further added that the Construction industry was also projected positively in the region due to the “Build, Build, Build” initiative of the government. He also highlighted the needed or pertinent must-have skills of said industries, such as flexibility, cognitive thinking, tech-savviness, and emotional intelligence so as to adapt to the current situation and be more employable in the job market.

While people are now maximizing the use of technology in the face of Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIRe or 4IR), Delos Reyes also emphasized the value of keeping the “human touch” in dealing with stakeholders as most them would still prefer human interaction.

The activity is part of DOLE-NCR’s interventions in employment services through dissemination of relevant labor market information through the use of online platform.

END / Ryan Roberto Delos Reyes