The ‘best and brightest’ stars of 2014 in the firmament of public employment services, embodied by the country’s network of Public Employment Service Offices, or PESOs, once again shone with luminous intensity in the 2015 National PESO Congress.


“These are the best PESOs of 2014 and we recognize and honor them to show to the country the heights to which Public Employment Service Offices can soar and what they can achieve so that other PESOs can be inspired and have models to blaze their own trails to success,” Baldoz said during a glittering awards ceremony at the Philippine International Convention Center Complex, venue of the 2015 National PESO Congress.


Baldoz, joined by top officials of the DOLE and the PESO Managers Association of the Philippines (PESOMAP) headed by Vissia Marie Aldon, president, led in the conferment of the awards.


A total of 23 nominees vied for the national awards in the 2014 Best PESO search, a regular—and the most anticipated—event feature of the National PESO Congress. The nine nine Awards categories are as follows: (1) First Class Province Category, with 6 nominees; (2) Second Class Province Category, no qualified nominee; (3) Third to Fifth Class Province Category, one nominee; (4) Highly-Urbanized City Category, 3 nominees; (5) Component City or Independent Component City Category, 3 nominees; (6) First to Second Class Municipality Category, 6 nominees; (7) Third to Fourth Class Municipality Category, one nominee; (8) Fifth to Sixth Class Category, no qualified nominee; and (9) Educational Institution/NGO/CBO Category, 3 nominees.


For 2014, the following have been declared winners:
(1) First Class Province—Region 1, Pangasinan Provincial PESO, headed by PESO Manager Alex Ferrer and Governor Amado Espino;
(2) Second Class Province—no winner;
(3) Third Class Province—Region 4-B, Marinduque Provincial PESO headed by PESO Manager Erma Reyes, and Governor Carmencita Reyes;
(4) Highly Urbanized City—NCR, Quezon City PESO under PESO Manager Carlo Magno Abella and Mayor Herbert Bautista;
(5)  Component City—Region 11, Tagum City PESO under PESO Manager Rogeneth Pagdilao-Llanos and Mayor Allan Rellon;
(6) 1st-2nd Class Municipality—Region 4-A, Angono, Rizal PESO Angono under PESO Manager Joulhlan Aralar and Mayor Gerardo Calderon;
(7) 3rd-4th Class Municipality—Region 11, Padada, Davao del Sur PESO under PESO Manager Beatriz Ojoy and Mayor Gladys Rimando Razonable-Gascon;
(8) 5th-6th Class Municipality—no winner; and
(9) Educational Institution/Non-governmental Organization/Community-based Organization—Region 11, University of Mindanao, Tagum City PESO headed by PESO Manager Alicia Sulayon and School President Guillermo Torres, Jr.


All the winners in this year’s Awards received a plaque and a cash prize of P50,000 each. The PESOs of Pangasinan Province, Quezon City, and Tagum City, having received awards before, were elevated to the PESO Hall of Fame. Each of the three PESOs received a plaque and cash prize of P100,000.


The recognition occurred at the Best PESO Awards Night during the 15th National PESO Congress, held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Complex, Pasay City.


The climax of the Awards ceremony was the conferment by Secretary Baldoz of the Secretary’s Award to the Marinduque Provincial PESO for exemplary performance and accomplishments in supporting the DOLE’s thrusts and advocacies in employment facilitation. Marinduque was cited for being the first island province to institutionalize its municipal PESOs. A teary-eyed Gov. Carmencita Reyes received the award from Secretary Baldoz.


The DOLE, through the Bureau of Local Employment, also handed out plaques of appreciation to four local government units who have participated in the pilot implementation of JobStart Philippines, the newest youth employability program of the DOLE which aims to assist at-risk youth to improve their school to work transition.


Awarded were Quezon City, represented by PESO Manager Carlo Magno Abella and Mayor Herbert Bautista; Taguig City represented by PESO Manager Norman Mirabel and Mayor Maria Laarni L. Cayetano; San Fernando City, represented by PESO Manager Dominador Sayre and Mayor Edwin Santiago; and General Trias City represented by PESO Manager Ariel M. Mugol and Mayor Edwin D. Santiago.


The Search for the Best PESO is an annual activity that recognizes the significant contributions and outstanding accomplishments of PESOs in the implementation of DOLE employment facilitation programs. The Search culminates in the Best PESO Awards Night, the most anticipated highlight of every National PESO Congress, including this 15th Congress, which the DOLE National Capital Region under the leadership of Regional Director Alex Avila is hosting.


The PESOs nominated for the 2014 Awards were regional winners chosen by their respective Regional Best PESO Search Committees, composed of the DOLE Regional Director, as Chairman, and the Technical Support Services Division Chief, Regional Employment Focal Person, Regional Federation President, as members, and the Department of Interior and Local Government, as the Regional Development Council Representative.


The selection process in the Search for Best PESOs involves five stages: (1) checking of entries as to completeness of requirements and supporting documents; (2) cross-checking of documents submitted and the corresponding points awarded by the DOLE Regional Offices per item; (3) validation of activities as contained in the submissions; (4) confirmation of points awarded to nominees; and (5) confirmation of points awarded to nominees.


In addressing the awardees, Secretary Baldoz said: “You are our partners and allies and as such, we recognize your achievements and performance as frontline conduits of the government’s employment facilitation programs and services.”


“Looking back, you have come a long way. Many challenges remain, but I know you are up to the task. I place great confidence in you that you will remain steadfast and strong in pursuing the reform we have initiated as partners to make the PESO more vibrant, dynamic, and responsive,” Baldoz finally said.




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