SUPER1 Philippines, a multinational bag manufacturer in Pampanga and one of the country’s top exporter, has recently hired members of indigenous tribes from the province, as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR).
A total of 57 Aetas coming from Porac town were hired on the spot, through a local recruitment activity (LRA) pioneered by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-Central Luzon and the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) of Pampanga.
On behalf of Super1 Philippines Inc. Vice President and General Manager Alex Fung, Human Resource Manager Lady Joan Guillermo shared that the significant initiative is one way the company gives back to the community, by providing “equal employment opportunity for all”.
“This is part of our company’s mission of giving decent jobs to our local citizens regardless of gender, race, and age. By hiring our natives, we aim to make them feel that they belong to our society and are not discriminated, added that they also have the same equal job opportunities outside their tribe community,”she said.
She noted that as new employees, the indigenous people (IPs) will undergo the normal employment process of Super1 Philippines.
“After their job test training period forsix days, we will identify their qualification and skills to determine whether they are best suited in sewing or non-sewing positions like packing, cutting, and gluing, among others,” she explained.
She said that the initial training period will help the IPs learn more knowledge regarding the working conditions inside the factory, as she added that it will also teach them new skills that will liberate them from their nomadic lifestyle.
Provincial Board Member Anianas Canlas,Jr. who was present during the LRA last Tuesday, lauded the business organization for the notable endeavor.
“We are thankful that Superl Philippines is doing its best for the interest of our local manpower. By engaging our katutubo to meaningful livelihood opportunities, they help improve their economic and social well-being. It is also one way they elevate our IPs and the Kapampangans as world-class workers,” he said.
DOLE Region Central Luzon Assistant Director Geraldine Panlilio, for her part, also shared the same message. Speaking with the natives, she emphasized the importance of “sense of pride and identity” as she noted that the government agency is “always here to support and assist them anytime.”
Larry Capuno, one of the newly-hired aeta employees, expressed gratitude to Super1 Philippines and its partners for giving him a chance of a better life.
He said that his new stable job will help him provide the needs of his six children, which he said were affected when he lost his job as a welder at a construction firm in Angeles City. After his stint at the said company’s completed project, he noted that he had a hard time finding a decent job.
“Sobrang saya ko po dahil bilang isang katutubo, hindi ko inaasahan na makakapasok po ako dito. Kaya naman po laking pasasalamat namin sa Superl pati na rin sa ating gobyerno na nag-rekomenda at tumulong saamin makahanap ng maayos na trabaho. Lahat po kami ay nagpapasalamat dahil kinikilala nila kami at ang aming kakayahan,” he noted.
Capuno and his companions will join the 20 other native workers currently deployed at Super1 Philippines’ six plants located across Pampanga. Guillermo highlighted that the company started hiring IPs way back 2016.
Nowadays, Super1 Philippines, touted as the biggest bag manufacturer in the region, handles more than 14,000 workers. Among these, 90 percent are Kapampangans. The remaining number comes from the provinces of Central Luzon, and as far as Bicol, Mindanao, and Davao.
Guillermo disclosed that by the end of the year, the company plans to directly employ up to 18,000 workers, as she concluded that they aspire to hire more aetas in the near future.