Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said yesterday it’s all systems go for the 15th National Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Congress, scheduled at the Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City, on 26-28 October.


The PESO Association of Metro Manila (PAMM), headed by Vissia Marie Aldon, and the DOLE National Capital Region, headed by Regional Director Alex Avila, are the prime movers of this year’s Congress, with the PESO Managers Association of the Philippines (PESOMAP), formerly PESOPHIL, Inc., providing the organizational clout. Lending guidance and support is the DOLE’s Bureau of Local Employment headed by Director Dominique Rubia-Tutay.


“As far as we at the DOLE and the PESOs are concerned, the annual National PESO Congress is one of the most anticipated employment facilitation events of the year. We are leaving no stone unturned to make the 15th National PESO Congress truly meaningful, spectacular, and memorable,” said Baldoz on the eve of the Congress.


This year’s Congress is anchored on the theme, “Pagdaloy ng Disenteng Trabaho at Maunlad na Negosyo, Kaagapay ang DOLE-PESO”.


Baldoz said the 15th National PESO Congress will not be the usual, but like past years’ Congresses, it will also highlight the significant achievements of the country’s PESOs.


“The PESO in the past is known only for employment facilitation. In this year’s Congress, we would like to focus on its transformation into a multi-dimensional front-line institution, providing our people not only with employment facilitation services, but also with livelihood, labor market trends and information, training and other capability-building initiatives, and allied services in support of the government’s attainment of massive job facilitation and substantial poverty alleviation towards inclusive growth,” said Baldoz.


Brimming with excitement, Baldoz said this year’s Congress will mark the crystal year for the annual conduct of the event and will write in PESO history many firsts.


“We are honoured that this Congress will be the second national event of the PESO that President Benigno S. Aquino III will deliver the keynote message. I have also received a report that a big number of local chief executives will also attend,” she said.


It can be recalled that the President graced the 10th National PESO Congress in 2010 at the Taal Vista Hotel, Tagaytay City. It was the first and only PESO Congress in history ever attended by the highest official of the land, and heralded an age of breakthroughs for the PESO. In his keynote address at the Congress, on the theme, “Isang Dekadang Tagumpay, Tuwid na Landas ang Gabay,” President Aquino III challenged the PESO to provide immediate and effective services to the Filipino worker and to strengthen itself as an employment information and exchange facility.


“In today’s globally-competitive economy buffeted by a constant barrage of changes in the labor market and by drastic shifts in labor supply and demand, I truly believe that the DOLE can only be able to successfully address such changes and challenges if we have a strong institutional partner and supporter in the PESO,” said Baldoz who, since she assumed office in 2010, attended and participated all five National PESO Congresses.


“I have an abiding faith and strong belief in the Public Employment Service Office as a DOLE ally and partner in promoting productive and decent work for all,” she said.


The 15th National PESO Congress seeks to develop an environment conducive to strengthening the PESO’s capacity to provide valuable contributions toward productive employment facilitation; create learning opportunities for drawing new insights for better employment services at the grassroots, occasioned by the changing environment; and promote stronger camaraderie and cooperation among the PESOs.


At the three-day Congress, participants will be immersed in plenary sessions on various topics from local, national, and international resource persons.


For Day 1, the following are the points of discussion:
a) Institutional Reforms of the PESOs, to be presented through an Audio-Visual Presentation prepared by the DOLE-Bureau of Local Employment;
b) Results and Perspectives of World of Public Employment Service (WAPES) Study 2014-2015, to be discussed by WAPES Executive Secretary Lenka Kint and Consultant for Asia and the Pacific Miguel Peromigo;
c) Legislative Reforms on Public Employment Service, to be discussed by Congressman Karlo Alexei Nograles; and
d) Leadership in High Performing PESOs: Presentation of Research Results, to be discussed by Regina Reyes of Ateneo School of Government.


The first day of the Congress will conclude with the 2014 Best PESO Awards Night, dubbed as the most anticipated highlight of the Congress, which recognizes the significant contribution and outstanding accomplishments of the PESOs in the implementation of DOLE employment facilitation programs.


The Best PESO Awards has nine (9) categories: (1) First Class Province Category; (2) Second Class Province Category; (3) Third to Fifth Class Province Category; (4) Highly-Urbanized City Category; (5) Component City or Independent Component City Category; (6) First to Second Class Municipality Category; (7) Third to Fourth Class Municipality Category; (8) Fifth to Sixth Class Category; and (9) Educational Institution/NGO/CBO Category.


For Day 2, sessions will be held on the following topics:
a) PESO as a Multi-Dimensional Employment Service Facility, to be presented by WAPES Consultant Peromigo, Michael Mwasikakata of International Labor Organization, and Kelly Bird of Asian Development Bank;
b) Addressing Skills Gap through Public-Private Partnership, to be presented by Aniceto Orbeta of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Vicente Leogardo Jr. of the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines, Larissa Malinao of the Local Government of City of Calamba, and Marites Eschara, of CDO Foodsphere Corporation; and
c) Sustaining the Skills Gains through an Enabling Environment: Laws and Institutions, to be presented by Arthur Lawrence Acierto of the Senate Committee on Labor, Hon. Divina Grace Yu of the Local Government of City of Pagadian, and Atty. Albert Padilla, former SPES beneficiary.


The second day of the event will conclude with the 2015 Kabuhayan Awards—considered another first—where regional and national awards of recognition to outstanding beneficiaries of the DOLE’s livelihood program will be conferred.

This year, the DOLE’s Livelihood Summit will feature beneficiaries of the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP) who will share their best practices and success stories in their DOLE-assisted businesses.

Baldoz stated that the 15th National PESO Congress takes place when the amended PESO bill is in its final shape of becoming a law. “Our hope is for the bill to be signed into law by the President during the Congress.


“This will be historic. The DOLE recognizes the special role of the PESO in working for the approval of the legislative measure which will strengthen the PESO law. Our years of legislative struggle will finally have its reward,” she said.

She recalled that in 2005, the DOLE began to pursue attempts to amend the PESO bill. The following year, the same was tabled for bicameral discussion, but it was only on 25 August 2015, that the members of a bicameral committee approved and signed the bill, which was shepherded by Senator Sonny Angara and Representative Karlo Alexei Nograles, chairpersons of the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resource Development and House Committee on Labor and Employment, respectively.

Among the salient features of the PESO Amendatory Bill are the institutionalization of PESOs in all provinces, cities, and municipalities; creation of permanent plantilla positions for PESO personnel; and improved labor market information and employment facilitation service through computerized systems of monitoring, coordination, and reporting.

Before the three-day Congress, the DOLE, through the Bureau of Local Employment and the regional offices, had held the World Association of Public Employment Services (WAPES) Forum, a two-day gathering of global leaders of public employment service offices, from 22-23 October in Tagaytay City. The forum was aptly titled, “LMI beyond the numbers: Translating labor market information into pro-active intervention on job-skill matching.”

The WAPES is a global association of close to 100 public employment services in Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East. It is a platform for labor market and employment contacts and the exchange of information between member countries.

“This forum examined theoretical and practical rationale of the role of public employment service offices in improving LMI and maintaining efficient LMI systems. It provided a venue for participants to share experiences in developing and disseminating LMI,” said Baldoz who delivered the keynote address at the forum.

Invited to the 15th National PESO Congress are about 150 PESO delegates from all over the country, Senator Angara; Rep. Nograles; Rep. Scott Davies Lanete; and Mayor Antonio Calixto of host city, Pasay, and other local chief executives. National and international experts, including successful program beneficiaries, have been invited as well as resource speakers.

“In this 15th National PESO Congress, we celebrate the PESOs’ successes. I am happy and proud to congratulate the PESOMAP officials and its network of PESOs nationwide for their hard work in transforming their public employment service facilities as the country’s main employment facilitation machinery,” Baldoz said.

The conduct of the PESO Congress is in line with efforts of the government to strengthen public-private sector partnerships in the pursuit of President Benigno S. Aquino III’s overarching goal to nurture and develop the country’s human resources, push back joblessness in the grassroots, and strengthen labor and employment facilitation in the country.



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