AT 56, Anecito Delima is having a hard time getting a job in Cebu.

Yesterday, he joined over a thousand job-seekers at the Cebu City Sports Complex, all hoping to be hired by any of the 56 local companies and 19 overseas employment agencies.

Delima said he has been unemployed for over a year after his contract in a construction company in Qatar ended.

As much as he wanted to find a local job, Delima admitted that his age is a handicap.

"I still want to work abroad, it is difficult to find a job here because of my age,” said Delima.

But even for the younger generation, jobs are not always readily available as in the case of Jessa Caseros, 23.

She failed to land a job in a business process outsourcing (BPO) company so she now has her sights on any of the office positions available.

Delima and Caseros are among the 1,130 people who registered in the 4th Kalayaan Job Fair yesterday, where 20,000 jobs were offered.

"In celebration of the 117th Philippine Independence Day, the City Government, through DMDP (Department of Manpower Development and Placement), is conducting a local and overseas job fair to give employment opportunities to our constituents," said Engr. Maria Suzanne Ardosa, chief of DMDP, which organized the job fair.

Sun.Star Publishing supported the event.

Most of the companies that exhibited job opportunities were BPOs, and sales, retail, and manufacturing industry.

According to the DMDP, overseas agencies are hiring construction workers, and engineering and manpower services.

The annual Kalayaan Job Fair is done every Independence Day. It aims to provide jobs to the unemployed by gathering various job providers on site for a more convenient application and hiring process.

"We hope that our fellow Cebuanos and our constituents in the neighboring municipalities and cities would avail of the services offered by the City Government," Ardosa also said.

A job fair is a one-stop station for job seekers.

Aside from the companies, government agencies like the Social Security System, Philippine Health Insurance and the National Bureau of Investigation also have kiosks so that applicants can process their government requirements.

Maria Nancy Abad of the Department of Labor and Employment said that the DMDP, which is under the Public Service Employment Office, has the most number of job fair applicants in the region.

"That's our intention, to bring the workers and the job providers together to maximize the chance of the job-seekers to find a job or to search for the type of job that they want. And also for job providers to maximize their chance of getting the most qualified (applicants) for the job; and it's cost-efficient," said Abad.