DOLE-12 asks local governments to create PESO

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/21 February) — In a bid to enhance the region’s job generation and recruitment initiatives, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Region 12 is pushing for the institutionalization by local government units (LGUs) of their public employment service offices (PESO).

Ofelia Domingo, DOLE Region 12 director, said Friday they are currently assisting LGUs in the region in providing formal and legal status to their PESO units by transforming them into full-fledged departments or offices.

She said only 10 of the 54 provinces, cities and municipalities in the region have so far institutionalized their PESO units.

These are the cities of Kidapawan, Tacurong, Cotabato and General Santos and the municipalities of Tboli in South Cotabato; Alabel and Malapatan in Sarangani; and, Isulan President Quirino and Kalamansig in Sultan Kudarat, she said.

Region 12, which is also known as the Soccsksargen Region, comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Under Republic Act 8759 or the PESO Act of 1999, Domingo said the PESOs are mainly “non-fee charging multi-employment service facilities” attached to LGUs.

“They are agents of change that can guide jobseekers to become responsible and dedicated workers,” she said.

The official said they pushed for the institutionalization of the PESO units in the region as a strategy to facilitate the proper implementation of programs related to job hiring and generation.

It will also ensure the proper handling of various concerns affecting local workers and other labor-related issues, she said.

Citing the case of Isulan town, the official said the transformation of its PESO into an institutionalized department has helped improve the quality of its employment services.

She said Isulan’s PESO received three national awards in the last decade from the national government and DOLE for its outstanding performance in looking after the needs of residents in terms of job opportunities and in upholding the welfare and rights of local workers.

Domingo said 14 more LGUs in the region have already committed to implement the institutionalization of their PESO units.

She said they comprise the municipalities of Lambayong, Columbio, Palimbang, Bagumbayan, Sen. Ninoy Aquino and the provincial government of Sultan Kudarat; Surallah, Sto. Niño, Tantangan, Polomolok, Tupi and Koronadal City in South Cotabato; and, Alamada and Pigcawayan in North Cotabato.

She said these LGUs have signed pledges of commitment to complete the institutionalization process of their PESOs before the end of the year. (MindaNews)