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Age discrimination noted at gov’t jobs fair

Despite the implementation of a law against it, some senior jobseekers continue to face discrimination from some employers.

Benito Parman, a 60 year-old high school graduate and one of the applicants in DoLE’s Labor Day Job Fair in Quezon City, said some of the participating companies in the event refused to accept his application due to his age.

“Two or three of them (companies) said so,” Parman told reporters. Fortunately, he said some business process outsourcing (BPO) company still decided to process his application.

“They told me I only have to improve my speaking skill…they said they will just call me (if I am hired),” Parman said.

Parman worked as a cook in a oil-drilling company in Libya before he was repatriated in 2013 due to the escalation of the political tension in the North African country.

Upon his return, Parman said he opted to stay at home and be with his family. However, when he heard of the passage of the Republic Act 10911 or the “Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act” he decided to try looking for a job to help in paying the bills in their home in Quezon City.

“My expectation is that there will no longer be any age limit,” Parman said.

In a press briefing, DoLE-National Capital Region (DoLE-NCR) director Johnson Cañete urged applicants with the same experience as Parman to file a complaint at DoLE’s regional offices.

“We are imposing it already so the important thing is the people who are affected can go to the table of DoLE and inform about these particular agency,” Cañete said.

The labor official, however, noted the erring companies will first go through the necessary process and orientation before facing possible penalties. “We will not immediately penalize them because they may only need orientation…The law is very new. It is normal that some companies will not be totally oriented about it,” Cañete said.

Under RA 10911, employers, including contractors and subcontractors, will no longer be allowed to print or publish advertisement relating to employment suggesting preference, limitation, specification and discrimination based on age.

Companies, which will violate its provisions, will be fined with not less than P50,000, but not more than P500,000.
(SAMUEL P. MEDENILLA)

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