September 30, 2023

No need to find work abroad.

As the country marks its 125th independence on June 12, government agencies led by the Department of Labor and Employment and the city government of Baguio are joining the nationwide simultaneous conduct of the Kalayaan jobs fair but with the hope of giving locals a reason not to leave home to get themselves a job.

A total of 4,507 jobs are up of grabs for all jobseekers in the city and its neighboring towns of La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay, all in Benguet and the rest of the Cordillera in two strategic areas in Baguio.

A livelihood fair, wellness services, and a one-stop shop of government services will also be held to assist jobseekers and the public in securing documentary requirements.

Compared to the May 1 jobs fair, DOLE-Cordillera Assistant Director Emerito Narag said more employers have been invited to accommodate residents looking for jobs and the job fair venues – the SM City Baguio and Porta Vaga Mall – have been made more accessible for them.

He said the mode of registration of job applicants this time has also been made available online and on pre-registration sites at the two venues.

Baguio Public Employment Service Officer Romelda Escaño said for the Kalayaan jobs fair, the city is focusing on providing local jobs featuring vacancies for jobseekers that are offered by Baguio-based companies as much as possible, and looking at vacancies that cover a wide range of qualifications – from dishwashers to managerial positions.

“Baguio is a major labor node. We are looking at proliferation of jobseekers that is why with the BLISTT concept in mind, we are looking at manpower sharing. We are not just focusing on residents of Baguio but also of BLISTT,” Escaño said.

She added they also aim to home in on various vacancies that are yet unknown to jobseekers.

“This is because we would want our jobseekers to know they need not go outside. There are vacancies here for you. All you need to do is be patient, innovative, and resourceful, and you will find out there really are vacancies enough for our home-grown talents,” Escaño said.

She said PESO data shows there are actually a lot of job vacancies, particularly for nurses in the local health sector, perhaps because many graduates, especially in the health and wellness field, opt for courses in the said field not really to work in the city but to work abroad.

“Maybe we need to change our mindsets. We have rich opportunities here, so if charity begins at home, then let’s begin with serving Baguio,” Escaño said.

SM Supermalls, one of DOLE’s industry partners, also has programs intended to encourage locals to opt working at home.

Irene Peralta, SM City Baguio Human Resource Department manager, said the mall promotes local employment by offering jobseekers competitive jobs and salaries.

She said they have established partnership with academes in Baguio where they provide college students opportunities from on-the-job training up to employment.

The mall chain also has the Career Near Home program, where it invites alumni of Baguio schools working in other places to go back to the city by providing them entry-level as well as managerial and officer-level positions with salary rates at par with that of other places.

“They no longer need to explore because in terms of our salary scheme, we are very competitive, except for entry level positions, which is based on regional minimum wage but for college graduates, our salary rate is at par with Metro Manila. So hindi na kailangang mag-abroad,” Peralta said.

Jobseekers may check the DOLE Cordillera Facebook page ( for the list of local job vacancies and for more information. – Hanna C. Lacsamana