12 August 2022 — The Bureau of Local Employment reports that it received a total of 72 entries for the Secretary’s Bayanihan Service Awards II. A continuation of last year’s commendation of Public Employment Service and Job Placement Offices (PESOs, JPOs) for exemplary efforts and initiatives in their localities amid the pandemic, the BSA II is held in lieu of the Search for Best PESO Awards which was deferred in 2021 due to the pandemic.

On 26 July 2022, the Bureau conducted a hybrid meeting with the DOLE Regional Offices and the PESO Managers Association of the Philippines (PESOMAP) for the opening of entries to the awards. The entries come from the 16 Regional Offices, classified under nine categories: 1st Class Province, 2nd Class Province, 3rd-5th Class Province, 1st-2nd Class Municipality, 3rd-4th Class Municipality, 5th-6th Class Municipality, Independent Component or Component City, Highly Urbanized City, and JPO or Non-Government Organization. A separate category recognizes SBP Hall of Fame Awardees that have won the award in their category three consecutive times.

To qualify for an award, a nominee must attain an overall rating of not lower than sixty percent (60%) based on the following criteria: Innovation (40%), which is the PESO’s provision of employment to retrenched/unemployed and displaced individuals and affected OFWs; Resilience (30%), which is the use of alternative modes of referral to maintain the same number of qualified jobseekers referred for placement in the past year; and Humanitarian Services (30%), which refers to the PESO’s capability to provide at least three (3) services outside of their mandated line of work, such as COVID-19 contact tracing or providing assistance to victims of natural calamities.

Now more than ever, efforts to hold communities together have become so important. The DOLE’s recognition of the PESOs’ vision to not only improve, but also provide livelihoods to their localities serve as a motivational boost and reward for hard work and dedication to their people. With this, inclusive growth and recovery is guaranteed in the near future. Winners will be proclaimed in the forthcoming National PESO Congress to be held in Pampanga on 25-27 October 2022.