Only about 50% of graduates will land a job — Anakbayan

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Sorsogon State College graduates. PHOTO BY BICOLTODAY.COM
Sorsogon State College graduates. PHOTO BY BICOLTODAY.COM

MANILA (26-March-2012) — While graduating students are busy getting their grades, preparing their attire for graduation, and thinking about where they should go after the graduation rites, a sad reality faces the newly grads—about half of them would not land a job.

“Based on the statistics,” says Anakbayan chairperson Vencer Mari Crisostomo, “only 40.8 percent to 37.4 percent of all youth members of the labor force in the past decade have been able to land any job; and 43 per cent of jobless youth do have a college degree.”

He also said that with the existing labor policies being implemented by the Benigno C. Aquino III administration, the chances of all the graduates to get a job is very little.

Crisostomo said that the Batch 2012 would have to compete with at least nine million jobless Filipinos, in order for them to have work.

While the business process outsourcing gives, somehow, a spark of hope to the newly grads, the youth leader said that, this sunshine industry would have its sunset too, as the U.S. Government is now imposing penalties and removal of subsidies to American firms who outsource their operations to other countries.

Currently, around 6.40 million yuppies (young professionals) are employed in different BPO or call center firms, or more than half of the participating youth in the labor force. In the BPO industry, the salary is quite high with some companies offering as much as P17,000 – P20,000 (US$395.72 – $465.55) as starting pay, aside from the perks such as night differential and hazard pay for those who work in the evenings; productivity bonus; commissions; and health and medical insurance.

The Anakbayan chair advises the government that instead of relying heavily on the promises of the BPO industry, it should focus all of its energy on modernizing agriculture and developing food self-reliance; encouraging local businesses by lowering fuel, electricity, and other costs; and nationalizing key industries like oil, power, and mining.

This, for Crisostomo, will solve the problem of unemployment and underemployment in the country. However, the young leader cautions the government not to rely on foreign investments to fund these programs since the FDI [foreign direct investments] had been proven futile in making the national economy really progressive, neither to rely heavily on labor export. [Noel Sales Barcelona/CBCPNews]

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