The pandemic continues to affect many Filipinos and many have lost their jobs due to the closure of establishments, cancellation of projects, and downsizing of businesses. Even OFWs were forced to come home after being displaced from their jobs overseas.
In April 2021, the Philippine unemployment rate was estimated at 8.7 percent, while substantially lower than the record high of 17.6 percent from the same time last year, still accounts for 4.14 million people who are still jobless. Sectors still affected
include retail, construction, and manufacturing.
Not one to hold back from extending a helping hand, SMDC has hosted a series of its Good Guys Job Fairs for residents in the surrounding areas of where there is an SMDC community. Working together with the SM Foundation, SM Malls, The Philippine Red Cross, local police districts, and Local Government Units (LGUs), the company invites its suppliers and contractors who accept applications for job openings for masons, electricians, housekeeping, and the like.
SMDC has already hosted job fairs in cities like Paranaque, with the most recent at Novaliches, Quezon City where they worked with the Quezon City Police District for their “Serbisyong Tama Caravan”. “In this partnership between the public and private sector, we aim to contribute to the country’s eventual growth. Hopefully, these kinds of initiatives will strengthen the relationship between the private sector, police force and the community” said Police Brigadier General Antonio Yarra, QCPD District Director. “We should all be united so we can uplift each other from the crisis brought by the pandemic. This job fair aims to bring the opportunities closer to the communities and other sectors so that people will be able to acquire jobs that suits their skillset”
Many of the applicants who attended the job fair were hired on the spot by SMDC’s contractors and suppliers.
A new job with renewed hope
One of the new hires was Jose Nelson Mativo who applied as a finishing mason. Before the pandemic struck, Jose had a stable living because there were so many construction projects that needed his skillset and he was earning enough for his wife and child. But COVID-19 happened which left him without a job because projects were stopped and he couldn’t go to work. Without enough savings and a source of income to sustain them, he and his family had to rely on relief goods given by the government and donations from relatives.
When restrictions were lifted, Jose was able to find a few jobs in his area and was able to earn a bit which still wasn’t enough to fend for his now growing family. “Kaya nga excited ako nung may nagsabi sa akin na kakilala ko mula sa Barangay Gulod na magkakaroon daw ng job fair ang SMDC dito sa SM Novaliches. Para daw ito sa mga construction workers na kagaya ko,” he shared.
On the day of the job fair, Jose hurried to SM Novaliches to be first in line. “Sa labas pa lang, kita na agad ang pag-asikaso nila sa mga aplikante. Nandun ang Quezon City Police para tulungan kami sa Police Clearance. Nandun din ang Red Cross para naman sa health requirements namin.” He applied at three companies but eventually decided to go with one that had an opportunity for a mason and electrician which he both could do. “Nung umuwi ako pagkatapos ng job fair, tuwang-tuwa ako. Kasi magkakatrabaho na ako uli. Syempre ready na ako magtrabaho. Para ito sa pamilya. Para ito sa mga anak ko.”
SMDC aims to continue rolling out the Good Guys Job Fair across all cities in the Philippines. The next leg will be on July 23, Friday at the Basketball Court of Brgy. 54 in Pasay City.
For more details about SMDC and its various community programs, visit https://smdc.com/.