ODIONGAN, ROMBLON – Independence Day is customarily celebrated with programs showcasing how Filipinos attained liberty from different colonization and hegemony. This 2019, it was observed with the theme “Tapang ng Bayan, Malasakit sa Mamamayan”.

As Filipinos seek liberty from poverty, the Department of Labor and Employment – Romblon Field Office conducted a Job Fair in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry on June 12, 2019 at the Romblon State University Quadrangle.

The activity was participated by 12 employers posing local and overseas job opportunities for the 386 jobseekers composed of 236 female and 150 male. A total of 115 Hired-On-the-Spot (HOTS) or 45% over 254 qualified applicants were recorded and reported.

As the department gives full support to the improvement of the total well-being of disabled persons and their integration into the mainstream of society, they are well considered for the job opportunities offered to enable them to practice their skills and potentials. They were given the same rights as other jobseekers to get involve and participate.

Ms. Maria Nelda Bullos, a 22 year-old fresh graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration, joined the glut of jobseekers as the fair opened. With the assistance of her classmate in pushing her wheelchair as they apply from one job to another, Ms. Bullos was hired as data encoder of the Department of Labor and Employment for the profiling of Child Laborers, Persons with Disability and Senior Citizens to be assigned at the Romblon Field Office.

“I experienced being ignored by employers as I pass my resume trying to seek for a job after graduation. Despite of those rejections I never gave up and told myself that I have to experience this way of life for me to understand its importance. After knowing that DOLE will be having Job Fair, I prepared myself to face all situations as I apply for a possible job. I was interviewed and very thankful that despite of my disability I was given a great opportunity to be a Data Encoder at the Department of Labor and Employment. Being the first Hired-On-the-Spot, I felt that all the negativities that I encountered fade off and told myself, at last I will be able to feel the real world as I enter the world of work for real”, – short message from Ms. Bullos after getting hired.

Giving them their right to employment significantly removes the barriers that keep them from fully participating in the community, comprising the stigma surrounding a disability and society’s poor understanding of the abilities and aspirations of the disabled people. Often, they face a life that is separated and degraded, and many live in isolation and insecurity.

End/Sarah Jane Ferranco