28 September 2022 — The Bureau of Local Employment, through the JobStart Philippines (JSP) Unit, along with other delegates from JobStart areas in NCR, attended the 55th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at the ADB Philippines Country Office in Mandaluyong City last 28 September 2022. As part of the event, Malaysia’s ADB Alternate Governor and Deputy Finance Minister requested a project visit on the Facilitating Youth School-to-Work Transition Program, which included JobStart Philippines, for the seven-person Malaysian delegation.

The meeting was opened by ADB Philippines Country Director Kelly Bird who was followed by the Bureau’s OIC-Director Patrick P. Patriwirawan, Jr., who expressed his gratitude to the ADB for their seven-year technical assistance to JobStart Philippines, which closed last March 2022. After this, Ms. Kyra Querijero, JSP focal person, conducted a briefing on the program and opened the floor for the testimonials of ten JobStart graduates (three from Mandaluyong City and seven from Pasig City).

Part of the delegation was Mr. Ronnie Alarcio, the Corporate Director for Human Resources of Astoria Hotels and Resorts, one of JobStart Philippines’ partner employers. The 10 beneficiaries took the opportunity to show him their appreciation and share their JobStart journey which marked beginning of their career building. All of them were unemployed prior to their participation in the program and, reaping the benefits of their hard work during the life skills and technical trainings and internships, are now employed in stable jobs by the company. They now enjoy decent and secure livelihoods after being afforded by the program the opportunity to transition from being previously not in education, employment, or training (NEET) to having much better lives.

The technical assistance provided by the Asian Development Bank helped the JobStart Philippines Program build a foundation to maintain its provision of competitive ambitions, diverse opportunities, and meaningful lives to many young at-risk Filipinos.