Held from 27 to 31 March 2023 in Iloilo City, the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) kicked off its series of Capacity Development Training and Workshop with the first leg conducted for the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Offices (ROs) from the Mindanao cluster. In attendance were 42 participants from Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, and CARAGA, composed of Chief Labor and Employment Officers, Regional Program Focal Persons, and Field Office Heads.

The annual training and workshop aim to increase the capacity of the implementers of DOLE programs in all regions. During the weeklong training, the participants were able to delve into different topics regarding the Public Employment Service Offices’ (PESO) employment facilitation services, PESO Institutionalization, the crafting of a local Workforce Development Plan, and Labor Market Information (LMI) reporting and analysis. A new module on Career Development Support Program was also introduced, particularly aiming at capacitating participants on Career, Vocational, and Employment Counseling. Apart from learning sessions, the ROs also provided various inputs in relation to the revision of the Department Orders related to the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) and Government Intervention Program (GIP), and the PESO Act.

In his opening remarks, DOLE RO6 Regional Director Sixto Rodriguez emphasized the significance of the activity, stating, “We are here to realign mindsets. Just like riding on a bus, we have to tune-up our engine first before we start driving towards our destination. We have a specific purpose here and that is to promote effective employment facilitation and employment counseling, which is part of a greater end goal of creating jobs and sources of income.”

The first session, which was on LMI analysis and reporting, was presented by resource speakers Ms. Camille Estanislao and Ms. Anna Klariza Langitan. Their discourse focused on the fundamental principles, sources, systems, and frameworks of LMI, as well as data gathering and analysis, and the implementation of Public Employment Information System (PEIS) and PhilJobNet. Following their session, participants were able to practice their learnings through a workshop that allowed them to utilize various statistical tools and techniques to evaluate and better understand their region’s LMI.

For the next day’s session, BLE PESO Focal Person Mr. Chester Rey Mulato led the Basic Employment Service Training (BEST) given that some participants were newly appointed as employment facilitation focals. Mr. Mulato provided an overview of the PESO, its legal bases, mandates and services, followed by a discussion on PESO institutionalization relative to the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). A workshop ensued wherein the participants prepared their Regional Workforce Development Plan (WDP) using the prescribed template from the DILG. Participants are expected to cascade these learnings to the PESOs within their jurisdiction in Regional meetings for them to anticipate, analyze, and link the LMI in their respective localities.

The new module for Career, Vocational and Employment Counseling was introduced by Ms. Evangeline Aviñante, Career Development Support Program (CDSP) Focal Person on the third day. Materials for this session were sourced from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and was customized to adapt to the Philippine setting. As there is a need to correct the mindset of the participants from the counseling done by professional guidance counselors, the counseling presented in the session explained the basic concepts and implementation of the CDSP, particularly the customer journey which includes the assessment of the clients before and after employment. She also walked the participants through the differences of Career Counseling, Vocational Counseling, and Employment Counseling, and helped them apply their learnings through a series of workshops and simulations using actual jobseeker profiles and role playing scenarios.

The last day session involved BLE’s consultation on amendments to DOLE Department Orders on the GIP, SPES, and PESO Act of 1999. Ms. Rosalinda P. Pineda facilitated the discussion showing the proposed revisions on the draft IRR on the DOs for vetting of the regional participants. Before the session ended, PMD Chief Labor Employment Officer Ana Liza Ragos solicited inputs on how the SPES and GIP beneficiaries can be tracked after the program completion, specifically those employed in the private sector.

The next series of capacity development training for the Visayas Cluster and Luzon Cluster will be held in May and June 2023 respectively.