THE almost 700,000 college students who will graduate this year are expected to swell the ranks of the unemployed since the government will not be able to provide enough jobs for them all.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said 70,000 jobs are up for grabs on PhilJobNet, the government’s job search and skills matching portal.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz noted that the 70,000 job opportunities only represent the top 10 vacancies posted as of the first week of March.

“The DOLE has been doubling its efforts to engage more employers to participate in job fairs, thus ensure that there would be sufficient employment opportunities that jobseekers can choose from to fit their qualifications,” Baldoz said.

She added that the vacancies are for call center agents, 26,646; customer service assistants, 9,348; production or factory workers, 7,199; service crews, 6,007; sugarcane farmers, 5,000; sewers, 4,700; credit and collection specialists, 4,000; electronic equipment assemblers, 2,500; staff nurses, 2,395; and cashiers, 2,166.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said there will be 692,602 fresh graduates in April.

Of this number, National capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila) has the most number of graduates: 157,761.

It is followed by Region IV-A with 74,644 graduates; Region III with 70,387; Region VII with 56,740; Region VI with 54,488; Region V with 37,382; Region I with 32,873; Region X with 29,861; Region II with 28,747; Region VIII with 25,454; Region XI with 23,701; CAR with 22,364; Region XII with 20,879; Region IX with 20,045; Region IV-B with 15,421; Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with 11,036; and Caraga with 10,819.

The top courses with most graduates are business administration and related disciplines, education science and teacher training, IT-related disciplines, engineering and technology courses, medical and allied courses, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, service trades, natural science courses and maritime, social and behavioral sciences.

But Alan Tanjusay, spokesman for the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) and advocacy officer of the Associated Labor Unions (ALU), said a big number of fresh graduates will be unemployed because of job “mismatch.”

He added that the more than 600,000 new graduates will be added to the ranks of 11 million unemployed Filipinos.

Tanjusay said job creation remains a big problem and this must be decisively addressed.

Jose Sonny Matula, president of the Federation of Free Workers (FFW), expressed serious doubts on the Aquino administration’s capacity to solve the unemployment problem.

Matula, a veteran labor lawyer, said the FFW is hoping that the country’s next leader would be able to address the problem.