The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has extensively brought changes and disruption to the labor market. The magnitude of the impact of this crisis to the economy and to the lives of people have not only been widespread but also persistent. As the country adjusts to the new normal brought about by this pandemic, albeit rather arduous, the government strives to continue its usual delivery of services and implementation of its programs to help with the recovery of economy and employment landscape in the Philippines.

That said, the Department of Labor and Employment – National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) remains steadfast in its commitment to provide streamlined and quality service through cascading relevant information and practices among its stakeholders, co-duty bearers, and program implementers. This undertaking serves as a tool to establish cooperation and exchange of knowledge towards creation of strategies that will improve and strengthen program implementation despite the current situation of the region.

Such significance was perceived by the DOLE-Regional Office II as they invited DOLE-NCR through Senior Labor and Employment Officer Ryan Roberto E. Delos Reyes of the Employment Promotion and Workers Welfare Division to serve as the resource speaker in its capacity building activity for its Public Employment Service Office (PESO) managers and personnel on November 29, 2021 to December 3, 2021 at Sta. Ana, Cagayan.

During the said engagement with DOLE-RO II, Delos Reyes presented the changes in the labor market and stressed the importance of labor market information (LMI) in this line of work.

“Everything starts and ends with LMI,” he said. “The actions we will partake into will be based on LMI and the outputs of our work will form a greater LMI.”

He emphasized LMI’s relevance in program implementation and the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIRe) in the labor market that hastened technological demands brought by the present situation.

To present a clearer labor market landscape, the DOLE-NCR representative also explained how the VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) reality mirrors the current state of the world and how NCR’s key employment generators were affected during the height of the global pandemic.

To cap off his presentation and expound the relation of LMI to Career Guidance and Employment Coaching, Delos Reyes highlighted the resilient jobs identified by the Department and the hiring status during the pandemic. He discussed, among others, the skills and competencies preferred by employers in the new normal such as adaptability and flexibility, technological savviness, creativity, innovation, and critical thinking skills. He also briefly touched on how one can market oneself effectively.

Another topic of discussion during the activity was the “Search for Best PESO (SBP).” In 2020, the SBP was temporarily replaced by the Secretary’s Bayanihan Awards to highlight the innovations made by the PESOs in the face of the health crisis that likewise proves their resilience and humanitarian contributions. After a year of hiatus, the SBP will again be conferred to the contenders vying for the award in line with the existing guidelines.

Said engagement with DOLE-RO II became a great avenue for sharing the best practices implemented by other PESOs. Delos Reyes, as part of DOLE-NCR’s Technical Working Group (TWG), took the time to share some strategies that would help PESOs improve their performance in efficiently implementing employment facilitation services.

A healthy dialogue transpired during the activity and attendees expressed their gratitude to the speaker for sharing his expertise and invaluable insights that will help them in the delivery of their mandates particularly in LMI and CGEC.

In these unprecedented times, said activity is one of DOLE-NCR’s ways of strengthening partnership and cooperation among stakeholders. The pooling of information and practices to enhance learning and to recalibrate skills and knowledge are essential in this crucial time to effectively transition to the new normal and rebound from the pandemic.

END / Mary Chelsea Espinosa