On eve of 13th PESO Congress
Baldoz hails PESOs as linchpin of jobs growth

Barely a week to go before the 13th National PESO Congress gets underway, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday hailed the 1,887 Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs) as the linchpin of the palpable growth in employment experienced by the country at the moment.

The 13th National PESO Congress will be held on 24-27 September 2013 in Palo, Leyte, on the theme, “Kabalikat at Gabay sa Disente at Matatag na Paghahanap-buhay”.

“This year’s PESO Congress will put the spotlight on the achievement of the 1,887 PESOs nationwide in placing jobseekers in decent jobs and at the same time in abetting the job-skill mismatch,” said Baldoz, who will attend the Congress for the third time as Secretary of Labor and Employment. She will deliver a speech on the opening day of the Congress.

Baldoz noted in 2012, the PESOs, which are under the supervision of DOLE’s Bureau of Local Employment, placed a total of 1,151,880 jobseekers in all kinds of productive jobs.

“From January to August this year, preliminary data of the BLE show that  collectively, the PESOs placed another 867,364 jobseekers in jobs, most of them wage-paying or salaried jobs,” she said, adding:

“Of this number, 513,552 were jobs in private industries, while 353,812 were jobs in the government sector, for a total job placement record of 2,019,244 from January 2012 to August 2013.”

She explained that PESOs could either be based in local government units, in schools, or in private sector establishments.

There are 1,591 PESOs based in local government units–province, city, and municipality; 247 PESOs based in state universities and colleges (SUCs); around the country; and 49 PESOs based in the private sector, for a total of 1,887 PESOs.

Baldoz, however, said of this number, only around 1,270 are operational PESOs, with only 194 fully institutionalized and 10 semi-institutionalized. Institutionalized PESOs are supported by local legislative resolutions or are established by local ordinances, while semi-institutionalized PESOs are supported only by order of local executives. She urged local government executives to institutionalize their PESOs so that they could better perform their frontline roles as employment facilitators.

The labor and employment chief said the PESO network has become a primary instrument in the Philippines’s efforts to mitigate unemployment by faciltating job search for the jobless in far-flung communities, and underemployment by improving job-skill matching between employers and workers.

Baldoz said the employment facilitation role of the DOLE is enhanced by the PESO network in consonance with President Benigno S. Aquino III’s 22-point Labor and Employment Agenda which calls on ‘promoting better coordination between employers, academia, and government through both public (e.g. Public Employment Service Offices or PESO) and private sector labor market information and exchange institutions, especially at the local levels’.

“Thus, the PESOs under this administration have become a linchpin of our efforts to promote employment and to push back job-skill mismatch,” she said.

END/mjlc

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