With 25 newly-institutionalized PESOs in Eastern Visayas
Baldoz calls for greater LGU support for more institutionalized PESOs in 2014 after rehabilitation

Amid the devastation that Typhoon Yolanda wrought in Eastern Visayas, especially in Tacloban City and in adjacent towns, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday reiterated her pledge to intensify further the efficient, accessible, and responsive employment facilitation services of the DOLE to push back job and skills mismatch in local communities and urged local government executives to support Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs) by institutionalizing them and, thus, to enable them to continue playing their frontline roles as employment facilitators.

“This is after we have rebuilt towns and cities in the region. Right now, of course, our priority is to help rebuild homes, restore livelihoods and jobs so our people will have incomes, and rebuilt public infrastructure. In short, we have to restore the lives of workers and their families so they can start anew,” said Baldoz.

“We consider and treat the PESOs as valuable allies and partners in delivering employment facilitation services. Therefore, we deem it very important that they are institutionalized,” Baldoz said.

“The more institutionalized PESOs we have, the better will be the employment facilitation services capability of the government,” she added.

The PESOs, according to Baldoz, not only provide employment facilitation services, but also are frontline actors in livelihood and manpower development; training; skills registry updating and maintenance; and labor market information dissemination.
“We may also utilize the PESOs to serve during calamities and crises,” Baldoz said.

She cited the report of DOLE Regional Office 8 Director Exequiel Sarcauga before Typhoon Yolanda struck stating that the convergent efforts of the DOLE regional office with local government units to adopt and implement R.A. 8759, otherwise known as the PESO Act of 1999, have led to the institutionalization of 25 Eastern Visayas PESOs this year. This raised the number of institutionalized PESOs to 40 in Region 8.

The newly-institutionalized PESOs are distributed as follows: Eastern Samar Field Office, 10; Southern Leyte Field Office, 5; Samar Field Office, 4; Biliran and Northern Samar Field Offices, 2 each; and North Leyte and West Leyte Field Offices, 1 each.

“While we know that some of these PESOs and their facilities may have been destroyed by the typhoon, we will rebuild them, and we take pride on their success, especially so that Region 8 had a record of institutionalizing four PESOs per year until 2011. This proves that our advocacy has reached a desired level of understanding of our local chief executives,” Sarcauga said.

“The institutionalization of the PESOs in Eastern Visayan towns is a big boost to the DOLE’s mandate of delivering improved recruitment assistance and enhancement training to enhance the employability and productivity of the people in the region.”

The Bureau of Local Employment, the agency that serves as the DOLE’s conduit for the provision of technical and other support services to the PESOs, reported that as of press time, there are 215 institutionalized out of the 1,887 established PESOs nationwide.

The number of institutionalized vis-à-vis established PESOs in the regions are as follows: National Capital Region, 14 of 23; Cordillera Administrative Region, 6 of 88; RO1, 5 of 132; RO2, 4 of 105; RO3, 43 of 186; RO4-A, 26 of 152; RO4B, 10 of 81; RO5, 7 of 152; RO6, 13 of 169; RO7, 14 of 158; RO9, 9 of 110; RO10, 4 of 113; RO11, 11 of 85; RO12, 3 of 78; and CARAGA, 6 of 85.

PESOs are linked to DOLE regional offices for coordination and technical supervision to ensure performance of their mandate.

Under the PESO law employers are encouraged to submit to the PESO on a regular basis a list of job vacancies to facilitate the exchange of labor market information services to job seekers.

“This year, the DOLE envisions to strengthen further the country’s PESO network as a frontline institution in job facilitation and delivery of accurate, relevant, and useful labor market information to our future work entrants. As the graduation season draws near, we need to mobilize our employment service vanguards,” Baldoz said.

(With reporting from DOLE-RO8)