Davao needs to improve employment, labor productivity

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

FOR Davao region to sustain economic growth levels, there is a need to increase the employment and labor productivity rates, the Davao Regional Development Plan (DRDP) 2014-2016 reported.

The development plan cited the need to increase the labor productivity by six percent in 2016 from a negative 5.1 percent recorded in 2011, while the employment rate should reach 98.2 percent or equivalent to 2.22 million workers employed by 2016.

Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) Assistant Regional Director Venerando C. Cebrano, in an interview Tuesday, said labor productivity should be improved to increase production.

"For example, if you are only exerting 60 percent in your job, you increase it to 80 percent or 90 percent. Like how you maximize your hours and matching your objectives to the vision-mission of the company," he said, adding that productivity of the labor force can be improved by making the working environment better, giving the employees proper benefits, and making sure the company hires the right employees with the right skill set for the job.

The low productivity level was underscored in the DRDP as one of the remaining challenges for the region to achieve high, sustained, and inclusive growth.

Cebrano said one of their efforts to increase the employment rate is their "Project JobsFit: The Dole 2020 Vision," which is a "labor market study that highlights the in-demand and hard-to-fill occupations of the key industries that are projected to be the main employment growth in the country for the next 10 years.”

"Through the project, we help match the competence of our workforce as demanded by the economic situation," he said.

Davao Region has the lowest employment rate among the regions in Mindanao, recording only an employment rate of 93.5 percent in July 2013, increased only by 1.8 percent from the 91.7 percent in April 2013.

Earlier, Dole-Davao Director Joffrey M. Suyao said they expected the employment rate to be lower than 91.7 percent in April due to the effects of the natural calamities that hit the region in the prior months.

"With the improvement of the employment rate, it appears that we are slowly recovering," he said.

Suyao said they are happy with the result since the region eked out a higher employment rate than the national employment rate of 92.7 percent. (RJL)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 19, 2013.


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