Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III commended the 458 Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs) which are now institutionalized and encouraged the PESO managers and personnel to continuously serve as DOLE’s partners in addressing unemployment and underemployment in the country.
In his message to the 16th National PESO Congress at the Waterfront Hotel & Casino in Cebu City, Secretary Bello encouraged local government units and their respective PESOs to strengthen cooperation with the Department to provide efficient, accessible, and responsive employment facilitation services to address job and skills mismatch in their localities.
Anchored on the theme, “Pinagtibay na Bagong PESO: Tulay sa Pag-asenso sa Buhay ng Manggagawang Pilipino,” this year’s congress, which was attended by more than 1,000 delegates nationwide and the first under the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, “was timely as it reflects the role of national and the local government units in the promotion of employment opportunities for the Filipino people,” Bello said.
Citing a report from Director Dominique R. Tutay of the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), DOLE Secretary Bello said that as of July 2016, there are 458 institutionalized PESOs nationwide; 230 in Luzon, 120 in Visayas, and 108 in Mindanao.
In Luzon, the number of institutionalized PESOs per region are as follows: National Capital Region (NCR)–17 PESOs in the cities of Manila, Las Piñas, Makati, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Pasay, Taguig, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Pasig, Quezon, San Juan, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, and in the municipality of Pateros; Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)–17 PESOs located in the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province; Region 1 (Ilocos)–31 PESOs in the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan; Region 2 (Cagayan Valley)–23 PESOs in the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino; Region 3 (Central Luzon)– 67 PESOs scattered in the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales; Region 4A (CALABARZON)–46 PESOs in the provinces of Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, and Rizal; Region 4B (MIMAROPA)–16 PESOs located in the provinces of Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, and Romblon; and Region 5 (Bicol)–13 PESOs in Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Masbate, and Sorsogon provinces.
In Visayas, there are now 120 institutionalized PESOs. These are: Region 6 (Western Visayas)–25 PESOs in the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, and Iloilo; Region 7 (Central Visayas) – 28 PESOs are located in the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, and Siquijor; Region 8 (Eastern Visayas)–57 PESOs in the provinces of Northern Samar, Western Samar, Eastern Samar, Biliran, Leyte, and Southern Leyte; and Negros Island Region–10 PESOs in the provinces of Negros Occidental, and Negros Oriental.
In Mindanao, the 108 institutionalized PESOs are as follows: Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula)–23 PESOs located in the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay; Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) – 25 PESOs in the provinces of Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, and Misamis Oriental; Region 11 (Davao Region)–24 PESOs in the provinces of Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, and Davao Oriental; Region 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN)–15 PESOs located in the provinces of Cotabato, Sarangani, South Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat; and CARAGA–21 PESOs in Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur provinces.
Secretary Bello encouraged the public, especially the job seekers, to visit the PESO in their locality and avail of its services. He added that aside from providing employment facilitation services, the PESOs also serve as frontline actors in livelihood and manpower development; training; skills registry updating and maintenance; and labor market information dissemination.
Secretary Bello also challenged the remaining 1,468 LGU-based PESOs (944 operational; 524 non-operational) to institutionalise themselves as mandated under Republic Act No. 10691 which amended the PESO Act of 1999.
RA No. 10691 provides for the institutionalisation of PESOs in all municipalities, cities and provinces with permanent plantilla positions and funding source from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).
In the medium-term, “we will assist the remaining non-institutionalised PESOs comply with the law through capacity-building and technical assistance.” Bello said.