Context: The Republic Act No. 8759 known as the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Act was established and accredited by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in 1999. PESO is a free multi-employment service facility managed by Local Government Units (LGUs) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) that upholds equal employment opportunities to every individual covered in the locality.
PESO aims to fill job vacancies through referral and placement, career counseling, trainings, and seminars. PESO accommodates various individuals including job seekers, employers, students, out-of-school youth, migratory workers, and persons with disabilities.
Implementation of programme/ initiative: PESO is widely implemented across the country and its general objectives guarantee the job seekers within its locality that it will deliver updated information about employment and other DOLE programmes.
Concurrently, its specific objectives are to provide a venue for employment assistance in every locale and to serve as a referral or recruitment information centre by providing job vacancy information. PESO is directed to follow up and monitor the status of the referred job seekers who have been employed by different stakeholders nationwide.
Main challenges: Although there is a clear mandate, not all LGUs have an institutionalized PESO in their locality, which effects the benefits to their constituents. To institutionalize a PESO, the entity must complete two phases and then seek an evaluation by DOLE.
Results achieved: An accomplishment report provided by the Bureau of Local Employment recorded an average of more than one million job seekers being employed through PESO every year. There are 1,925 established PESOs, 1,397 operational, 528 non-operational and only 391 institutionalized PESOs. From these figures, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) released a report about the employment rate in the Philippines as of July 2017, indicating a 5.6 per cent unemployment rate, with 94.4 per cent employment in the country. This affirms the efficacy of PESO.
Moving Forward: PESO not only provides job vacancy information but also occupational counselling and orientation, career guidance, job fairs, livelihood trainings, the Special Program for Employment of Students and Out-of-School Youth (SPESOS), a Work Appreciation Program (WAP), Workers Hiring for Infrastructure Projects (WHIP) and other programmes developed by DOLE.
Furthermore, PESO holds career guidance and employment seminars among graduating students of secondary, tertiary, and technical and vocational schools.
Replicability: DOLE is currently conducting a series of dialogues with various LGUs and stakeholders to seek their support for the institutionalization of PESO throughout the whole country. This indicates the need for long-term planning and active stakeholder engagement.
Date: October 11, 2017