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 annual National PESO Congress is one of the most anticipated employment facilitation event of the year, and the DOLE-National Capital Region, host and organizer of the Congress, in cooperation with the Bureau of Local Employment, and the PESO Managers Association of the Philippines (PESOMAP), formerly PESOPHIL, Inc., is leaving no stone unturned to make the 15th National PESO Congress truly meaningful, spectacular, and memorable,” said Baldoz after the organizers briefed her on the status of preparation for the event.

 

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 service, 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.

 

“If we are honoured, this will be a Congress where no less than President Benigno S. Aquino III will deliver keynote speech. 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, has not failed to attend and participate in the annual event.

 

“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 the following topics: Institutional Reforms of the PESOs; Results and Perspectives of World of Public Employment Service (WAPES) Study 2014-2015; Legislative Reforms on Public Employment Service; Leadership in High Performing PESOs: Presentation of Research Results by the Ateneo Graduate School; PESO as a Multi-Dimensional Employment Service Facility: Learning from our Neighbors; Addressing the Skills Gap through Public-Private Partnerships; and Sustaining Skills Gains through an Enabling Environment: Laws and Institutions.

 

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 by the President into law 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 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.

 

Another first at the 15th National PESO Congress is the holding of the DOLE’s Livelihood Summit during the Congress, 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.

 

Before the three-day Congress, the DOLE, through the Bureau of Local Employment and the regional offices, will also hold and participate in 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 is 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 will examine theoretical and practical rationale of the role of public employment service offices in improving LMI and maintaining efficient LMI systems. It will provide a venue for participants to share experiences in developing and disseminating LMI,” said Baldoz who will deliver the keynote address at the forum.

 

The most anticipated highlight of the 15th National PESO Congress is the 2014 Best PESO Awards Night, the culmination of the search for the best PESO that 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.

 

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.

 

END/hjtg

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