PUERTO PRINCESA CITY – To assist WPU students from enrolment to employment in the province, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) MIMAROPA and Western Philippines University (WPU) forged a Memorandum of Agreement for the establishment of Job Placement Office located at WPU Main Campus, Aborlan, Palawan last 21 March 2019. The signing was done at the Executive House, WPU-Puerto Princesa City Campus. DOLE MIMAROPA Regional Director Joel M. Gonzales and WPU President Dr. Elsa P. Manarpaac are the parties that led the signing of MOA between the two agencies.

First of its kind in the MIMAROPA Region, the creation of WPU Job Placement Office from the WPU Career Center will provide comprehensive career services such as train career service practitioners, conduct life development research and disseminate labor market information and issues; employment services to students and alumni; establish linkages with private companies, government agencies and non-government organizations; and, enable client graduates to develop contacts as well as employment opportunities with organizations and representatives. Currently, the Career Center helps increase student awareness and involvement in career development and employment programs; provides career and counseling, mock interviews, career information, and career e-portfolio.

The WPU Career Center was created on 30 August 2016 through the assistance of United States Agency for international Development (USAID), Florida State University and Pennsylvania State University. WPU was only one of the three (3) State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) assisted by USAID in the establishment of Career Center. Presently, the facilities of Job Placement Office are e-Portfolio Registration for resumes and application letters of students, Job Search Kiosk, Career Library, Testing Area and Test Materials for career advising and coaching.

Dir. Gonzales praised WPU through the leadership Dr. Manarpaac for this momentous event. He hopes that WPU Job Placement Office will be recognized as one of the best in the country. “Siguro ang maidadagdag ko lang is the measures of success on how many will be placed for a job based from the number of registered applicants. I also hope that the perennial problem of job mismatched will be checked, measured and addressed by the university and narrow its gap as it is the usual problem in the world of work. My challenge is that for every program we do, we need to think out of the box, maybe mas maganda if we think that there is no box at all para lahat ng gagawin natin ay laging unusual, first of its kind,” he added.

Dr. Manarpaac expressed her gratitude that the University’s Career Center has already transformed into a Job Placement Office. She said that upon the assistance of various stakeholders that the university started to benchmark the creation of a career center and its objectives come into realization. “I think it is forthcoming that the direction right now of Commission on Higher Education is towards the establishment of Career Center and we are already years ahead of others and whenever that career center is being brought out, laging sinasabi, pumunta kayo sa WPU kaya nakakatuwa din po kaya kung hindi sa pagtutulungan natin ay hindi rin mangyayari ito. Pwede pa nating siyang palakihin as you have suggested kasi malaking bagay din ito sa mga graduates and students.I am hoping that this partnership continues para tuloy-tuloy nating gawin dahil pare-pareho lang naman ang ating goal, to be of service sa ating countrymen, so we do it the best way we can,” she uttered.

The WPU Career Center Advisory Board (CCAB) assists in planning out the activities and future of the center. The Advisory Board is composed of representatives from DOLE, Palawan Public Employment Service Office (PESO), Puerto Princesa City PESO, Department of Education, Department of Trade and Industry, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Palawan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Puerto Princesa City Chamber of Commerce, President of WPU, WPU Vice President for Academic Affairs, President of Supreme Student Council and President of Alumni Association.

Present during the signing on MOA are DOLE Palawan Field Officer Luis B. Evangelista, Provincial PESO and Chairman of WPU CCAB Mr. Richard P. Rebote, City PESO and Vice Chairman of WPU CCAB Mr. Demetrio A. Lopez, Jr., WPU Vice President for Academic Affairs and Member of CCAB Dr. Julie Hope Timotea P. Evina, and WPU Director for Students Affairs and Services, CCAB Secretary Asso. Prof. Ruth J. Kutat and WPU Job Placement Office Head Ms. Maricarh B. Bobilles.

End/Renell G. Mayo