CLARK FREEPORT -- Public Employment Services Offices (PESOs) in Central Luzon were able to place around 208,000 jobseekers for local and overseas work in 2016.

“This recorded a placement rate of 88 percent from over 236,500 referred applicants,” Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) Technical Support and Services Division for Employment and Welfare head Alejandro Inza Cruz said.

“We surpassed the Bureau of Local Employment’s 80 percent placement target rate and attribute this to the PESOs’ proactive employment facilitation activities geared towards more jobseekers securing jobs,” Cruz said.

About 3,728 applicants were placed through 23 regionwide Labor Day and Independence Day job fairs.

“Aside from this, around 8,679 jobseekers were placed through various local job fairs held within provinces, cities, and municipalities all over the region,” Cruz added.

On youth employment, some 26,108 poor but deserving students were provided short-term employment opportunities through the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES).

“As of December 2016, Php68.33 million which represent the government’s 40 percent share for payment of salaries of beneficiaries have already been released or paid to 23,665 students upon completing their requirements,” Cruz disclosed.

The remaining 60 percent of their salaries were shouldered by partner local government units (LGUs) and private firms.

Aside from SPES, 1,436 college graduates and undergraduates; technical-vocational graduates; and high school graduates were engaged in government work under the Dole Government Internship Program (GIP).

“Our GIP intern-beneficiaries have all undergone life skills training and engaged in government work assigned to various LGUs, public schools, and other government agencies,” Cruz shared. (CLJD-PIA 3)