Keeping true to his commitment of improving the employment facilitation programs in the country, President Benigno Aquino III signed into law on Monday the amendments to Republic Act No. 9759 or the PESO Act of 1999.

The signing, witnessed by Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, Congressman Karlo Alexei Nograles, DOLE officials and PESO national officers, was done on the opening day of the 15th National PESO Congress at PICC on Monday attended by more than a thousand Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Managers coming from 16 regions in the country.

President Aquino, in his message delivered after the signing, said that when he assumed office in 2010, he pledged to institute reforms in the delivery of employment programs and the signing of the law before his terms ends is keeping true to that promise.

He said that higher placement rate of jobseekers in the last five years speaks of the dedication of the PESOs in addressing unemployment in the country.

The amendatory law seeks to create PESOs in all provinces, municipalities, cities and other strategic areas throughout the country.

Among the salient features of the PESO amendatory law are the creation of permanent plantilla positions for PESO personnel and the improvement of labor market information and employment facilitation service through computerized systems of monitoring, coordination, and reporting.

The law provides that the LGUs shall include in their regular annual budget the funding support for the establishment, operation and maintenance of the PESO while the Department of Labor and Employment or DOLE’s annual budget for the PESO shall be intended for technical assistance, training and supervision.

The number and salary grade of PESO personnel in a given Local Government Units (LGU) shall depend on the resources of the LGU.

PESO acts as conduit of DOLE in the implementation of employment-related program.

From the current 1,591 LGU PESOs that were established, only 391 are institutionalized through Sanggunian resolutions allocating budget and creating plantilla positions.

PESOs that are not institutionalized have difficulties in carrying out their core functions since the PESO Managers are only acting on designated capacity and most are operating solo. In other words, they are managers who have no personnel to manage.

The historic signing of the law is a welcome development to the government’s desire of reinvigorating all PESOs in the country.

Furthermore, a CITATION was awarded by the Department of Labor and Employment to the TACURONG CITY PESO “through its Local Chief Executive Honorable Lina O. Montilla and PESO Manager Allan S. Freno by being Top Regional Performer in 2014, thus earning the nomination for the National Best PESO Award (Component City/Independent Component City Category)”.

The citation was conferred by DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz during the 15th National PESO Congress held at PICC in Pasay City on October 26, 2015.(ASFreno)