Another year has passed since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Changes and challenges in the health, economic, and employment landscape surfaced but nevertheless, the region strived to adapt and thrive to the so-called new normal. As the new year starts, it has also opened new opportunities to make amends and reinforce program implementation that would help the labor market return to its pre-pandemic state.

With this in mind, some local Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs) in the region tapped the Department of Labor and Employment – National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) for its annual planning and capacity building activities early in February this year.

So as to improve, strengthen and prepare for program implementation for the fiscal year 2022, PESO Pateros, PESO Mandaluyong, and Quezon City University (QCU) in coordination with PESO Quezon City invited DOLE-NCR Senior Labor and Employment Officer Ryan Roberto E. Delos Reyes of the Employment Promotion and Workers Welfare Division as its resource speaker for the said activity. Attendees of the event were duty-bearers from PESOs and QC Job Placement Office (JPO).

The first planning activity started last February 9, 2022 with PESO Pateros, wherein a consultation meeting transpired particularly with regard to the making of the Employment Facilitation Plan (EFP), and the conduct of this year’s Bayanihan Service Award. Being the lone municipality in the region, and the only contender under the First Class Municipality category, PESO Pateros voiced their eagerness to make it to the nationals and sought advice from Delos Reyes.

On a similar note, PESO Mandaluyong’s Annual Planning and Employee Capability Enhancement Training was conducted on February 10, 2022. During the said event, inquiries on EFP were also addressed and Delos Reyes took the time to discuss entrepreneurship, which is also a component in DOLE’s career guidance initiatives. He highlighted the importance of including entrepreneurship in DOLE’s career guidance approach as it is also an equally important career path just like employment.

On both PESO Pateros and Mandaluyong planning activities, inquiries in relation to the EFP were raised and the DOLE-NCR representative answered to their concerns. Delos Reyes also advised the PESOs to include ground level specific information in the EFP to assess their locality’s labor market situation and include distinct interventions that would distinguish their LGU from others.

On the other hand, the consultation and planning activity of Quezon City University, one of NCR’s first Job Placement Office, happened on February 18, 2022 at said university. Delos Reyes provided technical assistance through discussing the different programs and services of the Department that would help foster the provision of employment facilitation services of the said JPO. Through this meeting, JPO personnel were also capacitated on Labor Market Information and NCR’s situation amid pandemic.

During the three planning activities, a healthy exchange of insights and ideas unfolded during the open forum and attendees expressed their gratitude to Delos Reyes as he has extended his expertise and addressed their queries vis-a-vis effective delivery of employment programs and services. One participant said: “Thank you very much for this presentation. It is a very timely seminar and has definitely provided us with a clear picture of the current labor market situation.”

Labor and Employment Officers Mary Chelsea A. Espinosa and Allen Rose T. Carreon joined Delos Reyes who served as technical staff during said event.

This engagement is one of DOLE’s way of delivering its mandate to its co-duty bearers and strengthening partnership, coordination, and building camaraderie among PESOs for efficient implementation of employment facilitation services.

Minimum health protocols were strictly observed during the planning activities.

END / by Mary Chelsea A. Espinosa