In the face of the health crisis, the cooperation and participation of each duty-bearer agencies proves to be crucial to ensure the efficient delivery of employment programs and services. Said cooperation serves as bridge to benchmark and promote practices that can be observed and emulated.

With National Capital Region (NCR) as the country’s premiere region, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) – NCR was tapped by DOLE Region VIII to provide technical assistance to its Public Employment Service Office (PESO) including its employment focal staff in the latter’s Year-End Performance Assessment cum Regional PESO Congress on February 14-16, 2022. With the theme “Sama-samang Pagtutulungan Tungo sa Pagbangon ng Bayan,” the activity aims to promote camaraderie and greater collaboration among key players in employment services.

The activity, attended by some 200 PESOs from all over the region, was graced by key officials of the local government representing Hon. Alfred Romualdez of Tacloban City and Victor Norman Ordiz, President of the PESO Managers Association of Eastern Visayas.

In his opening remarks, DOLE VIII Regional Director Henry John S. Jalbuena mentioned the hardships experienced by the region due to typhoons Yolanda and Odette that tremendously affected the economic activities of the populace. He likewise highlighted the statistics that indicated the increase of the region’s employment rate and recognized the PESO’s contributions to said development.

Director Jalbuena also mentioned the importance of the Regional PESO Congress to further capacitate the PESOs in the delivery of employment services.

In his keynote speech, DOLE Undersecretary Victor Del Rosario stressed the importance of cooperation relative to the realization of employment mandate. He also commended the performance of PESOs and their contributions to the region’s economic gains.

DOLE-NCR was represented by Senior Labor and Employment Officer Ryan Roberto E. Delos Reyes from the Employment Promotion and Workers Welfare Division. In his lecture, he refreshed the attendees’ appreciation of Labor Market Information (LMI) by giving emphasis to its importance in the work of both DOLE and PESO. He further said that as the country is in the transition to new normal, the importance of LMI is more apparent in order to bridge the needs of the industries with the workforce.

Delos Reyes also emphasized on the Key Employment Generators (KEGs) of NCR that have the capacity to absorb most of the region’s workforce. Primarily driven by the Services Sector, he related the region’s KEGs with its economic performance during the height of the health crisis.

Session on entrepreneurship was also conducted to holistically present the labor market picture in relation to the curriculum exits of K to 12. During said activity, Delos Reyes discussed the business phases and some important points in entrepreneurial engagement. He also highlighted the emergence of e-commerce in relation to new ways of addressing economic concerns in the face of pandemic.

During the open forum, the DOLE-NCR representative answered all the queries from the participants ranging from the job hunting skills, employment prospects in the new normal, and relevant business undertakings in response to the shifting market. In all responses, Delos Reyes stressed the importance of planning or “doing the leg work” prior to engagement in both formal and self-employment.

To maximize the learning session, Delos Reyes also gave participants the technical capacities in making their respective employment facilitation plan. He also gave tips in capitalizing on their local economy in relation to their labor market situation. All sessions were well received and appreciated by the participants.

Benchmarking DOLE-NCR’s practice on the provision of LMI and Career Guidance and Employment Coaching (CGEC) services was first held with DOLE RO IV-B in 2017 followed by Regional Offices I, II, V, VI, and VIII.

END / Ryan Roberto Delos Reyes