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28 September 2008

Subic Freeport workers now 81,700

Expansion programs by existing companies in Subic, as well as the entry of new business locators, has resulted in the continuing rise of employment here, with the active workforce augmented by more than a thousand workers each month since January this year.

According to figures from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), the active workforce in Subic stood at a total of 81,729 as of August this year.

This represented an increase of 11,321 new hires over the yearend 2007 figure of 70,408.

SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said most of the new positions were created by companies expanding their operations.

"More jobs are about to be created in the coming months as we step up efforts to sign in more businesses and to coordinate job-skills matching with our locators," he said.

Arreza added that in the first eight months of this year, the SBMA has approved 130 new investment projects that will create a total of 5,177 new jobs.

SBMA data indicated that of the total 81,729 workers employed in the Subic Freeport, majority come from Olongapo City, which contributed a total 32,241, or 39.45%.

The second biggest number of Subic workers are those from Zambales, with 17,794 or 21.77%, followed by Bataan, with 10,803 or 13.22%; the National Capital Region, with 4,421 or 5.41%; Pampanga, 2,837 or 3.47%; Tarlac, 1,153 or 1.41%; and other areas, 12,480 or 15.27%.

Arreza said the SBMA's job creation initiatives will also receive a boost from an Internet-based job-skills matching program launched here on Friday by WOWCard, Inc., a business locator that conducted the first Internet-assisted job fair to be held here on September 26 to 27.

The project, Arreza added, will further strengthen job creation efforts for Central Luzon workers, and help address both unemployment and underemployment in the region.

WOWCard president Victorino Quiton said, meanwhile, that the Internet-based system dubbed as "Job@8s" will utilize an electronic database whereby investors and business locators in Subic could post job announcements and hiring requirements.

"This will make the whole recruitment and hiring process faster, more efficient and easier," he said.

Quiton explained that job-seekers availing of "Job@8s" services will be asked to list their qualifications and desired positions.

These will then be encoded and matched with available positions as listed by the more than 30 investor firms that have confirmed their participation in the job fair.

"This facility will also provide locators the window to hire highly qualified professionals even from outside the country, and, at the same time, is expected to attract more foreign investors when they learn that the recruitment and hiring process in Subic is less of a problem," Quiton added.

Quiton said the "Job@8s" facility will be made available for free to local job applicants even after the job fair. (SBMA Corporate Communications)

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