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EVALUATING EXPERIENCES OF UNDEREMPLOYED WORKERS

IN CEBU CITY

JUDYLHEAN LORETE, FERBEL JOHN LLANOS,


HANNAH MAE BORRES, MARY MARGARETTE SAY
BILIE SEMBLANTE, SHALLEEN DUARTE,
GRAHAMBELL SABANATE, BRYAN BACLAYON
ARON JUSTIN ENRIQUEZ

Introduction with the worker. Making some knockback


effect in the economy in a way that
instead of having the chance of every
Underemployment is an Filipino to work the job they want, it has
individual problem at work faced by been procrastinated because of some
Filipino Workers in the present time. It is factors, leading to the chance of
the condition of a worker wherein he/she productivity to be in the face of neutral
is employed in a certain job but that job unproductivity. Thus, it will mainly affect
has not met his/her capabilities, leading the economic outcome consumed by the
hours of working. No wonder why the
to some unproductivity at work and other
Philippines’ still a developing country
job consolation issues. In the Philippines,
compared to other countries in the world.
underemployment becomes one of the
epidemic issues among Filipino Workers. The researchers conducted the
A Filipino Worker may have capabilities study to identify the views of
in a certain field but due to some factors, underemployed workers towards
these workers tend to work in an on the underemployment, its causes, effects, and
spot job instead of finding a job that suits the way they handle underemployment.
his/her capabilities. Moreover, it would help the Filipino
workers to be resilient and be able to
This problem is collaborated by handle, if not avoided, the
some factors in the system and in the underemployment. A broad
person. According to the Labor Force understanding of underemployment in
Survey (LFS) of the National Statistics the Philippines today may gather Filipino
Office (NSO) that was conducted last society to better-targeted policies and
January 2013, there were 7.934 million programs.
Filipinos who are underemployed. In fact,
it is a global issue where world leaders The objective of this study is to
had already made some explore the experiences of
recommendations in various job systems underemployed workers in Cebu City.
throughout the world. Also, the Specifically, it seeks to know the
Department of Labor and Employment respondents’ perceptions and
said that many of the fresh graduates did understanding about underemployment,
not satisfy the needs of the Philippine to determine the factors resulting to
economy. They are not ready to face the underemployment, the effects of
job below their belt. underemployment as perceive by the
informants and the coping mechanisms of
The researchers observed that these workers to overcome the
underemployment is caused by different adversities that they are currently
factors in the economy, job system, and
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experiencing or they might have health in Thematic issue of American


experienced in their chosen line of work. Journal of Community Three Psychology
There are several reasons why on underemployment and health (2003).
underemployment is arising, changes in It shows that the underemployed
the skills, composition of the workforce, workers' dissatisfaction to the
an increase in the number of college opportunities in the economy became
graduates and the increased expectations more significant because of the
of college-educated workers are some of consequences of being ‘hours
it. Institutional factors can also affect the constrained’ and working an
rate of underemployment: minimum unsatisfactory work. Thus, the literature
wages, welfare and taxation systems, and shows that the well-being of a worker is
employment protection legislation. being affected primarily by the economy
Spousal employment and income family which leads to the creation of interrelated
constraints, spatial restrictions, other effects in the well-being of an employee.
personal preferences, and other personal
reasons trigger underemployment to This study is anchored to the Job
occur. Another determinant is labor search theory by Maslow’s hierarchy of
productivity growth. Some people learn needs by Maslow (1943), supported with
practical jobs faster and better than their the two following theories; the Dual-by
profession. Furthermore, Patromo (2015) Leibenstein (1960) and the Relative
states that higher underemployment rate Deprivation Theory by Stouffer (1949)
is more likely to be observed in which explain the existence of the issue of
developing countries with a great underemployment in the society.
percentage of workers in agriculture and
several employees in rural areas. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it
was used to motivate people in order to
After analyzing the perceptions of achieve their needs (Maslow,1943). If the
Ontario Survey on effects of Educational- first need is fulfilled, a person will seek to
Job matching in health-related quality of fulfill the next one. It is divided into five
life in Raycov (2009) came to a conclusion stages; physiological needs, safety needs,
that the effects of underemployment are social needs, esteem needs, and the self-
primarily associated with the behavioral actualization. Physiological needs are the
aspect of an employee which includes basic needs which include food, shelter,
stress embedded with lack of control over and other physical needs. The need for
work. The study employs that employees security and physical protection is
who are underqualified nor overqualified included in the second stage. If the first
are more associated to work-related two stages are fulfilled, a person will
stress. Employees who have more hours proceed to fulfill the stage where the need
in working than they desire also have a for affection and belongingness from
higher rate of having work-related stress. others belonged, which is the social need.
This study also shows that the effects of Then to the esteem need that includes
underemployment in a sense that stress self-esteem, respect to self and from
occurring from undesirable (decreased or others. If all the four stages were
increased) hours is often added to the successfully achieved, it is when the most
stress that is seen as a major effect among important stage will be attained, the self-
underemployed workers. actualization. Maslow (1954), he stated
Issues of effects of that man has a natural drive to
underemployment have discussed healthiness or self-actualization. Maslow
thoroughly because of the rapid increase defines self-actualization as the desire to
of publishing on underemployment and self-fulfillment and realizing one’s
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potential. Thus, when any worker has a situations. Moreover, the said theory is
work that doesn’t match on their assumptions that negative results
capabilities, it is normal that they will feel together with judgment such as
unsatisfied with the job they had. To dissatisfaction. Anger and other negative
lessen this feeling of dissatisfaction, they emotions differ with the person's
must have to make sure that this job subjective assessment of their job status
could satisfy their needs. To get a job is
(Beinstein & Crosby, 1979). In short, the
not about just finding any jobs that are
theory explains how a person will feel
available even if it’s not a person’s desired
job. Sometimes it is when these workers underprivileged based on how that
will realize their full potential on that person compares him/herself to someone
particular job. This realization is when a else.
person knows the strengths and
Thus, when a person becomes
capabilities and will be using them on
underemployed, it is inevitable that they
choosing their desired jobs. That is when
self-actualization is achieved. could compare their desired job to their
current job. This theory is an important
Dual-Factor Theory is developed mediator to explain how
by Frederick Herzberg (1959) explains underemployment leads to poorer
that people’s job satisfaction depends on psychological well-being in those
two kinds of factors: factors for replacement jobs of an individual
satisfaction(satisfiers) and factors for (Feldman et al, 2002). Thus, the theory
dissatisfaction. Performance, recognition, determines the situation of
job status, responsibility and underemployed workers if they are happy
opportunities are all under the category and satisfied to the work they have. With
of satisfiers. Unsatisfied worker covers the explanation of how a person or
about salary, the relationship with
underemployed worker responses, the
colleagues, physical work place and the
relationship between supervisor and researchers would be able to dig up
employee. coping mechanism because it has the
basis on how the underemployed give
The theory’s concept is associated their outlook to the underemployment
to the explanation and mechanism of problem they experience.
causality among underemployed workers.
This means that the background state Materials and Methods
within the desire of a worker has describe Phenomenology was the
his/her expectations in workplace. If the qualitative research approach that was
worker had failed to meet his/her
used in this study. Tricia Chambers
satisfaction within the context of the
(2013) defined that, phenomenology is
work, this leads to the belongingness of a
worker in underemployment. Thus, one of the contexts of qualitative research
worker’s satisfactions that have meet up that focuses on the commonality of
his/her work is one of the branches why a experiences within a particular group.
worker leads to being underemployed. The fundamental goal of this study was to
arrive at a description of the nature of the
particular phenomenon.
The relative deprivation theory
(RDT) which is first developed by Stouffer
(1949), has been used to understand how
people react to frustrated and unexpected
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The study was conducted at IT After the substantial data was


Park Cebu. The researchers chose this gathered, the researchers organized the
place because this place was urbanized data based on the research objectives.
with different fields of job and had Then coding was done to compress data
generated numerous job opportunities for into easily understandable concepts for it
Cebuano’s and by that, the researchers to be more efficient. Validating the data
would have more comprehensive data should follow to ensure its accuracy and
about underemployment. This study was reliability. As such, the researchers
conducted in the second semester of the formulated conclusions based on their
school year 2018- 2019. findings.

The data-producers that was The researchers used content


observed and interviewed in the course of analysis in which interviews were done to
this study were workers from different build a sufficient dataset. In addition, this
fields of work in Cebu IT Park. The analysis uses a combination of methods,
informants aimed to provide data from such as conducting interviews, reading
their own experiences at work. By this, documents, or visiting places and events,
researchers were able to make a to understand the meaning participants
conclusion about the course of the study. place on whatever is being examined.

The researchers conducted a


semi-structured interview with the use of
an interview guide as an instrument in Results
gathering information from the
underemployed workers in IT Park Cebu. This part of the paper presents
An interview guide is a series of questions the results and discussion from the
that includes the background questions, analyzed qualitative data using content
and other questions that asks about their analysis method. It also presents an
experiences and what they feel based on overview of the participants’ experiences
their experiences. It is the easiest and the of having on a job that does not match on
best instrument that the researchers their skills and capabilities.
could use. The questions were answered
Based on the perception and
by the chosen informants.
understanding of the participant about
underemployment, in terms of describing
In order to gather information for underemployment as job mismatch and
this study, the researchers submitted a also a sub-theme from other objectives
letter to the official of the barangay where considered job mismatch as one of the
the researchers gathered data. Then reason of underemployment (100%).
agreed to prepare an interview guide that
was used for the researchers’ interview. Based on the formulated
Next, the researchers went to Cebu IT categories derived from sub-categories
Park to conduct an interview with those out from the participants’ statements, the
workers who were considered as major themes appear that the reason and
underemployed. After doing so, data were effects of underemployment is the
gathered and analyzed after the satisfaction to have their current job
interview. (50%), and the deprived feeling of the
participants while working on their
current job (50%).
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Based on how the participants cope Discussion


with the difficulties in their current job, in
terms of adapting these difficulties (50%), With the researchers’ main topic,
and to have the positive mindset towards “Evaluating Experiences of
their job (75%). Underemployed Workers in Cebu City”,
the researchers were able to interview
Underemployment… people nga no work. participants and gathered their answers.
Nga wala silay work. Underemployment These results were further understood
also kanang mga people nga naka take og and supported by related literatures and
course that is not related to the job that studies.
they are in. (Participant 4, Line 68)
The researchers’ first objective
It's because of kanang the focuses on the participants’ perceptions
compensation kay when you work at the and understandings about
hotel industry, ang compensation kay underemployment. They define
gamay ra gyud but when you work sa BPO underemployment as a job mismatch.
like (tsk) call center kay dako gyud ang Three out of four participants stated that
compensation and better benefits like underemployment happens when their
insurance, and other stuffs. (Participant 1, job does not match with the course they
Line 4) have finished or studied. This means that
some people have knowledge on what
Kuan you get to, you get to talk to underemployment is and that it currently
hundreds of people every day and exists in Cebu City for they knew
uhm…(pause) social orientation, tapos themselves that they are underemployed.
kana sab when it comes to salary… salary.. On the other hand, one out of four of the
mas daghan jug benefits ang call center participants define this issue as when a
compared sa kadtung gi… nga.. Like person is an undergraduate and they are
trabahuan nga in line sa akong course pushed to work on a job that they did not
before kay daghan man gung incentives really desired. As mentioned by Farooq
diri like every month you get to have (2011) education- job mismatch is when
thousands of pesos nga incentives… so so these workers could compare their
kuan na… then insurance after regular… acquired education with their current job.
"regularizations".so kuan na… then In short, underemployment is when a
insurance after regular… "regularizations”. work is not related to a person’s
(Participant 1, Line 10) capabilities, skills and knowledge.

Ahm at first lisod jud siya kay As to why the participants chose
kanang akong giskwelahan simang, dayon and got into the job that does not match
diri mag english paka jud ka diri pirmi - with their knowledge and skills, they
kuan nalang jud kanang kung unsay happened to compare their current job
culture didto murag imo nalang gyud I with their “supposed to be” job. Their
follow lang. Prangka sila, prangka pud mi reason is that the job they have right now
diri giatay (laughs). (Participant 3, Line is more beneficial in terms of financial
66) aspect compared to the job that is in line
to their skills. This reason is very practical
because of the fact that the main reason of
why a person choose a particular job is
because they want to get better
compensation and good benefits. Another
reason that they have stated is that they