Job hunting 101: How to be a ‘diser


CLEARANCES: Barangay or village (P75), National Bureau of Investigation (P115), police (P170) and prosecutor (P100); cedula or residence certificate (P150); occupational permit from City Hall (P150); medical examination (P350); six pieces of 4 by 4 photos (P65); uniform (P250); apron (P75); one piece of packaging tape (P25); paint brush (P35); two pieces of pranela or flannel (P50); cutter (P40); folder (P6); and 10 pieces of bond paper (P10).

Whew! And the list that a would-be merchandiser has to submit or show to his prospective employer could get even longer depending on so-called requirements of the private business firm of which the jobseeker wants to be part.

One clearance repeats information that is already stated in one or two other clearances and still the would-be employer insists on every available clearance and possibly others that have not been invented yet so that the government can raise more money to feed to the bureaucrats.

Failure to secure any clearance or to present the 8×11 bond paper (8×13 is unacceptable), however, would shut the door on the already harassed job applicant, leaving him with no other choice but to get what HR wants or give up the hunt altogether.

But before the poor guy can even get started on the job, granted that he is taken in, he had been set back P1,666.

Was not the cedula torn to pieces by Katipuneros at Biak na Bato more than 100 years ago in defiance of the Spanish colonizers?

History has obviously been disregarded so the national government and the local government units are able to earn a fast buck for the benefit of poor Filipinos, we suppose.

Surprisingly, many still grab at the openings for warehouse keepers or office clerks or factory workers–and merchandisers–that last only five months under the “endo” (end of contract) employment practice of many giant firms.

And we are talking here of jobs that only pay the minimum daily wage of P491 (Metro Manila rate) and P352 (provincial rate) for the merchandiser, for example.

More popularly called ‘diser, the merchandiser is the guy, usually male, who mans the counter of a soy sauce or orange juice company in the grocery stores or supermarkets.

He arranges and rearranges the goods that the company he represents (his employer is not the maker of the sauce or juice but the recruitment agency that gave his papers to his actual employer) to attract buyers on one hand and to receive complaints from the customers on the other.

Direct hiring is rarely done by many business owners today, apparently to evade obligations under Philippine labor laws, such as payment of social security and health premiums.

The travails of our merchandiser would continue in the workplace. In one private store that sells Japan-made goods only, The Manila Times main man is made to pay for items returned by unsatisfied buyers. He, however, is allowed to take home the what-nots that he was forced to buy at the risk of losing his job as a merchandiser there.

Of course, our guy soon calls it quits and applies with another recruitment agency, where his lot isn’t any better.

He said his actual employer makes him and his fellow merchandisers pay the price for tardiness by forcing them to shell out P500 each for “unreasonable” lateness.

Of that offense, the judge and executioner, according to him, is the HR chief and so 500 bucks it is.

In yet another agency, The Manila Times main man and the rest of the ‘disers are made to stay for work that lasts until 11 p.m. without any overtime pay (their shift ends at 8 p.m.).

To be a minimum wage earner in this country, it seems that you would have to have the patience of a sphinx and the heart of Mother Teresa in order to support your family or, at the minimum, yourself.

Come on, how far will P491 or P352 take you?

Possibly to the offices of a recruitment agency.


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1 Comment

  1. Please Mr Duterte, I thought a key element of your election manifesto was to put an end to the enslavement of your electors, the poor! Great article. Puts it all very clearly.