EMERGE, Nathan’s project in the Philippines, has been working with USAID’s Last Mile Initiative Program to help officials in Bukidnon turn one municipality of Mindanao into an electronic gateway for jobseekers. The municipality of Manolo Fortich has turned a portion of its Public Employment Service Office into a Community e-Center (CEC) where local residents search online for jobs offered by employers in Manila. The CEC also arranges interviews with employment agencies in Manila using webcams and VOIP facilities. In using the center, local residents increase their chances of landing a job while eliminating the substantial costs involved in traveling to Manila to look for work.
The CEC is the brainchild of Congressman Neric Acosta and his mother, Mayor Socorro Acosta, who want to turn Manolo Fortich into “the gateway of Mindanao to the 21st century.” Mayor Acosta is proud of the impact of the CEC. Within little more than one month of the center’s opening, numerous online job interviews between local residents and Taiwan-based firms resulted in the successful placement of ten jobseekers.
“We have been blessed that the LMI Program of the USAID/EMERGE Project was there to assist us in setting up this center. As a result of our combined efforts, the Municipality of Manolo Fortich is fast becoming a model of excellence in the delivery of government services, especially in assisting our constituents in finding job opportunities,” the mayor said.
News of the CEC’s services and benefits has traveled fast. Nearby municipalities and provinces have already inquired about participating in or replicating the CEC.