27 October 2022 — Underscoring the labor department’s push in boosting employment facilitation, Labor Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma urged local government units to institutionalize their respective Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs).

Addressing local chief executives and delegates led by the PESO Managers Association of the Philippines (PESOMAP), Laguesma said that under the Marcos Jr. administration’s whole-of-government approach, national and local government units must work together towards economic recovery and poverty reduction.

“I call on our local chief executives to institutionalize the PESOs in their respective areas to enable the local employment service providers to find stability and produce more sustainable programs to their constituencies. With our strong partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, it is our hope and aspiration that our partners at the local level will see the importance of having permanency, continuity, and stability in the delivery of the services of the PESO,” said Laguesma during the National PESO Congress held recently in SMX Convention Center, Clark, Pampanga.

Under the supervision of LGUs and the technical support of DOLE, the PESOs are tasked to ensure prompt, timely, and efficient delivery of employment services and information on DOLE programs.

To date, 575 PESOs are now institutionalized, out of the 1,592 LGU-based PESOs and 334 Job Placement Offices nationwide.

Republic Act No. 10691 or the amended PESO Law provides for the institutionalization of PESOs in all municipalities, cities and provinces with permanent plantilla positions and funding source from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) to ensure the continued operation and sustainability of PESOs.

As a way forward, Laguesma underscored the Department’s proposed amendments to the PESO law to include full cycle employment facilitation and whole gamut of services as among the PESO’s functions. “Not simply referral and placement, effective employment counseling, capacity building, skills training, livelihood – kung hindi lahat ng serbisyo na pwedeng isama sa PESO,” the labor chief emphasized.

Laguesma also said the DOLE is better equipped in addressing employment issues with the support of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

“Given that TESDA is now back in the fold of DOLE, the PESOs can rely on DOLE’s comprehensive assistance in addressing employment issues, especially in the context of Fourth Industrial Revolution and climate change adaptation. Through TESDA’s assistance in providing responsive and updated technical and vocational education and training strategies, we shall advance gainful and quality employment opportunities and develop our human resources according to the skills needs of our recovering and growth industries,” said the labor chief.

He also highlighted the successful conduct of the Trabaho, Turismo, Asenso: Philippine Tourism Job Fair in partnership with the Department of Tourism. Laguesma lauded the high placement rate among applicants and stressed the importance of conducting pre-screening among jobseekers.

“Mahalagang magkaroon ng tinatawag na pre-screening, para pagdating sa jobs fair kaunti na lamang ang dadaanang proseso ng ating mga aplikante. Gusto nating tiyakin na ang mga pupunta at mag-a-apply ay uuwing may ngiti sa labi – hindi luhaan, hindi pawisan, at hindi naunsyami ang kanilang pangarap na makakuha ng trabaho,” said Laguesma.

In the same event, Laguesma also bestowed the Secretary’s Bayanihan Service Award to outstanding PESOs for going above and beyond their mandate of delivering job facilitation services amid the pandemic.