PASEI: READYING OLONGAPO FOR GUAM
This is in anticipation of some 20,000 construction-related works in the United States territory, Guam. Fernandez suggested that “more technical skills training centers are necessary so that Filipinos can fill the demand for blue-collar workers.”
The big demand for blue-collar workers will initially be generated by Guam to build new base facilities as the US marines prepare to relocate from Okinawa, Japan to the island state by 2010.
“There’s not much demand for white-collar jobs. What we need is to go back to skills training. Mas matagal na kakailanganin ang skilled workers,” Fernandez said during the open forum.
Fernandez also discussed the partnership between PASEI and the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) where they signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the setting up of a pilot training program for skilled workers who will be sent to Guam.
He also added that TESDA shall conduct extensive training for construction workers like building electricians, plumbers, welders, mechanics, fabricators, carpenters, machinists and other skilled manpower.
Fernandez then suggested that the local government intensify the training for vocational workers in Olongapo. The city already has a welding, housekeeping and English skills training center.
Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. is confident that Olongapeños will have a definite advantage. “Aside from being hardworking, skillful and most importantly, proficient in the English language, many Olongapeños have prior experience working in the US Naval Base,” Gordon said.
The open forum was facilitated by Councilor Edwin J. Piano and attended by city government employees, Hanjin welders, job applicants and a representative from the Guam Labor Office, Terencio Mejos.
Mejos is an Olongapeño who migrated to Guam in 1991. He is working for the Wages and Hours Division of the Department of Labor in Guam. Mejos met with Mayor during the latter’s official trip to the island. According to Mejos, “Olongapeños have a big chance of being hired for the construction project in Guam in 2009. Mayor Bong Gordon is aggressively acquiring all the necessary information to prepare the city and the people for this development.”
PASEI also had an Exploratory Mission to Guam where they met with the officers of Guam Economic Development and Commerce Authority (GEDCA), Guam Contractors’ Association (GCA) and Guam Labor Office representatives for a comprehensive briefing and orientation seminar for overseas employment service providers.
Beejay Sebastian ( Mayor's Office) Mr. Terence Mejos (Guam DOL), Atty. Bernadine Gantan, Mr. Jun Macas (RRJM Intl. Manpower), President Victor E.R. Fernandez, Jr. who visited Olongapo City recently and personally conducted an orientation and presentation on the job and business opportunities available in Guam at the Session Hall of the Sangguniang Panglungsod at the City Hall Complex, Mr. Waleed Bahakeem and City Councilor Edwin J. Piano