BAGUIO CITY – Maximo Buenaventura, a 58-year-old former overseas Filipino worker (OFW),was among the hundreds who found luck in the “Kalayaan Trabaho, Negosyo at Kabuhayan” fair on June 12 of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the local government of Baguio held in one of the malls in the city.
Maximo is among those who submitted their documents to prospective employers for local and foreign job placement.
He applied as mason with GFI Manpower placement agency, one of the 35 agencies offering 815 different jobs abroad.
“Nag-a-apply ako dahil gusto ko pang makatulong sa aking pamilya kahit may edad na rin ako. Marami naman tayong expenses na kailangan, food natin yung mga benefits natin yung ilaw, tubig natin babayaran kailangan ko pa rin magtrabaho (I’m applying because I want to continue helping my family despite my age. We have a lot of expenses on food, benefits, electricity, water and other needs that we need to pay so I still have to work),” he said.
Maximo began working as a mason in Libya for several years and moved to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for a job contract with an American consortium company doing a project in KSA. In Riyadh, he received a salary of 1700 Riyals monthly or almost PHP23,600 a month aside from overtime pay.
Prior to going abroad, he was a laborer in the city but sought greener pastures abroad.
His contract ended in January and came home. When he learned about the job fair, he immediately grabbed the opportunity, having in mind the positive thought that he could go back again, work abroad where employees get higher pay.
He said that as a father, he has the responsibility to continue providing for himself, his wife and his children.
Despite his age, Maximo is hopeful that he will still be accepted for work abroad, which gives higher pay.
Exequiel Roni Guzman, regional director of the DOLE in the Cordillera said job fairs are organized to allow people to apply for available jobs here and abroad as it links job hunters and employers.
The job fair organized in the city has been recorded as one of the successful events for job seekers, recording a 14.6 percent hire-on-the-spot rate, he said.
At the job fair, around 1 p.m., there were 25 who were hired on the spot: 13 for local and 12 for overseas job placement.
The job fair in Baguio is conducted every May 1, June 12 and for the charter day anniversary of the city every September 1.