THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) in the Cordillera commended the 17 Public Employment Service Offices (Peso) across the region that are now institutionalized, and encouraged the managers and personnel to continuously serve as Dole’s partners in addressing unemployment and underemployment in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

With only 17 Peso fully institutionalized in the Cordilleras out of 84 local government units (LGUs), Exequiel Ronnie Guzman, officer-in-charge regional director, said the department is encouraging local chief executives and their respective Pesos to strengthen cooperation to provide efficient, accessible, and responsive employment facilitation services to address job and skills mismatch in their localities.

“During the yearly Peso assessment for CAR recently and despite the issuance of Dole Department Order 157 – Series of 2016 or the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 8759, otherwise known as the Peso Act, the new Municipal Council and Provincial Board members still have not enacted the necessary ordinance for Pesos to have it included in their respective 2017 budgets. Some Peso Officers are appointed by the local chief executive and are co-terminus after the term expires,” Guzman added.

In the LGUs, if the Peso is institutionalized, there will be a separate office or directly under the office of the mayor or governor manned by a Peso manager and staff. It will have its own office budget and shall be the official link of Bureau of Labor Employment and Dole to the local chief executives.

Under the amended Peso Act, the office will be institutionalized in the municipal and provincial LGUs to provide a venue for clients to simultaneously avail various employment services, such as labor market information referrals, training, and entrepreneurial reintegration.

It also serves as referral and information center for the Dole and other government agencies by making available data and information on their respective programs. It will also be an established linkage of other Pesos for job exchange and other employment related services.

Dole programs implemented through the Peso are the Special Program for the Employment of Students, a unique scholarship program of Dole for poor but deserving students, Government Internship Program, which provides six months of employment to out of school youth, especially the fresh graduates whose main problem in applying for work is the lack of work experience, Tulong Pangkabuhayan para sa disadvantaged workers, livelihood program, career coaching, and job fairs.

The 17 institutionalized Peso’s in CAR are the municipalities of Banguet, Sallapadan and San Juan in the Province of Abra, municipalities of Kapangan, La Trinidad an Mankayan in the Province of Benguet, City of Baguio, municipalities of Lagawe, Mayoyao and Alfonso Lista in the province of Ifugao, municipalities of Pasil and Tanudan in the province of Kalinga, Tabuk City, and municipality of Tadian in Mt. Province. The provincial Pesos of Benguet and Mt. Province are also institutionalized.

According to the Bureau of Local Employment there are 458 institutionalized Pesos nationwide, 230 in Luzon, 120 in Visayas, and 108 in Mindanao. (PR)