EMPLOYMENT UP BY 35% IN ILOCOS NORTE

LAOAG CITY — Local employment in Ilocos Norte province went up by 35 percent from a mere three percent in 2010, the Provincial Public Employment Services Office (PESO) said in a report.

This milestone is a positive indication of the province’s growing economy, said Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos.

In 2012, the Marcos administration launched the “Task Force Trabaho” (TFT) program which aimed to boost the employment rate and generate more job opportunities within the province.

The program has been essential in decreasing the unemployment rate from 37 percent in 2010 to 3.2 percent in 2014.

According to Provincial PESO Officer-in-charge Lizette Bitancor, the conduct of various job fairs, tech-voc trainings, livelihood and self-employment assistance and cash-for-work programs have contributed to its increase.

PESO, in cooperation with the Department of Labor and Employment, also hires students and out-of-school youth through the Special Program for Employment of Students and Out-of-School Youth during summer and Christmas holidays.

More than 3,700 youth were already hired since the launching of the Task Force Trabaho.

Series of career counseling were also conducted to more than 4,000 students around the province to assist them in their future careers.

Over 2,000 professionals were also served during the conduct of Professional Regulation Commission Mobile Outreach Service in 2014 to 2015 alone.

The provincial government’s efforts to promote Ilocos Norte as an investment hub have attracted both local and multi-national companies to put up business in the province. Hundreds of professionals have already been hired in the Business Process Outsourcing sector alone.

While employment opportunities in the urban areas continue to increase, the Marcos administration also focuses on job creation in the rural areas.

Recently, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) launched the “Paspas Dur-as Biag ti Away” (rapid development in the rural areas), its flagship agricultural program which aims to generate opportunities and providing support to rural folks.

“We want more and better jobs to provide adequately for our families, both in our cities and in the far flung rural areas. Every Ilocano has the choice of working overseas or one day working here at home,” Marcos said.

She added Ilocos Norte will continue sustaining the province’s high economic growth by intensifying the TFT in the coming years.

“For only jobs guarantee a permanent pathway out of poverty- and our challenge today is to create stable, wage-paying quality jobs that will finally end poverty in the entire province,” Marcos said. PNA/northboundasia.com