by Patrick T. Rillorta
Department of Labor and Employment Regional Director Exequiel Ronie A. Guzman commended the Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs) across the region that are now institutionalized as he encouraged its managers and personnel to continue serving as DOLE’s partners in addressing unemployment and underemployment in the Cordillera.
Guzman said with only 17 fully institutionalized PESOs out of 84 LGUs in the Cordillera, local chief executives and their respective PESOs are encouraged to strengthen cooperation to provide efficient, accessible, and responsive employment facilitation services to address job and skills mismatch in their localities.
He said during the yearly PESO assessment for Cordillera recently, it was found out that sangguniang bayan and panlalawigan members have yet to enact the ordinance for PESOs to have it included in their respective 2017 budgets despite the issuance of DOLE Department Order 157 s. 2016 or the implementing rules and regulations of the PESO Act.
If the PESO is institutionalized, there will be a separate office or a department under the office of the mayor or governor manned by a PESO manager and staff. It will have its own office budget and shall be the official link of the Bureau of Labor Employment and DOLE to the local chief executives.
At the moment, some PESO Officers are appointed and co-terminus with the local chief executive.
Under the amended PESO Act, the PESO shall be institutionalized in the municipal and provincial LGUs to provide a venue for clients to simultaneously avail various employment services, such as labor market information referrals, training, and entrepreneurial reintegration.
It also serves as referral and information center for the DOLE and other government agencies by making available data and information on their respective programs. It will also be an established linkage of other PESOs for job exchange and other employment related services.
DOLE programs implemented through the PESO are the Special Program for the Employment of Students, the government internship program, Tulong Pangkabuhayan para sa disadvantaged workers, livelihood program, career coaching, and job fairs.
Institutionalized PESOs in the Cordillera are the municipalities of Bangued, Sallapadan and San Juan in Abra; Kapangan, La Trinidad, and Mankayan in Benguet; Baguio City; Lagawe, Mayoyao, and Alfonso Lista in Ifugao; Pasil and Tanudan Kalinga; Tabuk City; and Tadian in Mountain Province.
The provincial PESOs of Benguet and Mountain Province are also institutionalized.
According to the BLE, there are 458 institutionalized PESOs nationwide, 230 are in Luzon, 120 in Visayas, and 108 in Mindanao.