Press Release
March 11, 2010

Villar eyes leveling playing field for job-seeking grads

Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manny Villar said that with nearly half a million graduates joining the labor force, the next president would be hard-pressed to address the unemployment problem in the country.

"The causes of unemployment problem are deep-seated. We need to tackle this problem at the roots in order to arrive at a long-term solution. For starters, I want to focus on how graduates of Class 2010 can land jobs so they would not join the ranks of unemployed," said Villar.

According to Villar, besides the perennial problem of lack of jobs, new graduates are also complaining about unfair practices in hiring and recruitment procedures in both public and private sectors.

"We need to level the playing field for all graduates. There should be no discrimination in the hiring process. Everyone should be given equal opportunities regardless of schools or other factors. The way I see it, even honor graduates find it hard to get jobs," said Villar.

Villar has earlier filed a bill urging the government or public offices to help honor graduates of state universities and colleges (SUCs) to get jobs by prioritizing them in the hiring process.

He filed Senate Bill 552 or the Public Honor Graduates Priority Act that seeks to grant priority to honor graduates of state SUCs in the recruitment of civil service employees.

"Prioritizing honor graduates of SUCs in the hiring process is taking a step further. Prioritizing is certainly different from discriminating," added Villar.

He also cautioned companies and organizations that discriminate against graduates of other schools by indicating in the hiring criteria the names of schools they prefer.

Villar also bats for entrepreneurship as a long-term solution to unemployment problems in the country. According to him, it would remove the old archetype of Philippine schools preparing students to be employees. "We also need to create a new generation of entrepreneurs. We need more job providers to counter the increasing number of job-seekers."

The unemployed persons reached 2.8 million in 2009 representing an annual unemployment rate of 7.5 percent, with National Capital Region registering the highest unemployment rate of 12.8 percent among the 17 administrative regions.

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