Left photo: BLE-PMD Chief Liza Ragos (seated 5th from left) poses with Luzon Cluster participants and the BLE-JSP Unit
Right photo: (center, second row, beginning 9th from left) PWD JobStart Graduate Mark Len Dela Torre, McDonald’s Tagum General Manager Mary Joy Manlangit, JobStart Graduate Rembert Z. Taron, First Panabo Tropical Foods Corporation Assistant Manager Leah P. Uy, and Filipino Sign Language Interpreter Alma Mondragon pose with VisMin Clusters participants and the BLE-JSP Unit
The Bureau of Local Employment, through its JobStart Philippines (JSP) Unit, conducted the annual JobStart Capacity Building and Orientation Planning Activity for program implementers in Iloilo City (Luzon Cluster) and Davao City (Visayas and Mindanao Clusters) last 29 to 31 March 2023 and 12 to 14 April 2023, respectively. In its first full face-to-face setup since 2020, focal persons from Regional and Field/Provincial Offices and Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs) (24 from the Luzon cluster and 41 from the VisMin clusters) and three focal persons from the BLE-JobStart Unit gathered onsite to discuss this year’s implementation of the program.
For the first two days of the activity, the BLE-JSP Unit conducted in-depth lectures on the following program components: a) employer engagement and registration of trainees; b) life skills training; c) technical training and internship; d) monitoring and evaluation; e) financial operations; f) the PESO Employment Information System (PEIS) and Youth Employment Exchange (YEE); and g) the JobStart branding. After the discussions, the floor was opened for the participants’ questions, majority of which were concerned with the program’s financial operations.
To conclude this annual event, benchmarking activities were conducted by the host regions to introduce their best practices. For the Luzon Cluster, Mr. Jayrel Encontro from PESO Iloilo Province shared one notable practice they regularly perform to ensure successful job matching. Due to the wide geographical area of Iloilo Province, they make sure to gather potential beneficiaries within the operating areas of their partner employers. Additionally, during the screening phase of the registration process, they pre-assign the trainees to specific positions extracted from the employers’ pledges to allow them to manage their expectations and to give them a headstart on what their JobStart journey is going to be like.
For the VisMin Clusters, DOLE Regional Office 11 invited First Panabo Tropical Foods Corporation Assistant Manager Leah P. Uy and McDonald’s Tagum General Manager Mary Joy Manlangit, who shared their experiences with the program implementation. Aside from them, two JobStart graduates who were absorbed by these partner employers also shared their testimonials; Mr. Rembert Z. Taron, a 2022 JobStart trainee, now works for First Panabo Tropical Foods Corporation as Shift-In Charge. On the other hand, Mr. Mark Len Dela Torre, a deaf and mute 2022 JobStart trainee, is now a member of the service crew of McDonald’s Tagum.
The JobStart Capacity Building and Orientation Planning Activity for program implementers held every year aims to continue and improve the collaboration between the Regional and Field/Provincial Offices, PESOs, and the Bureau, so the DOLE may cater to more at-risk youth in the future by improving their employability and competencies.