Legarda: Further amend PESO Act for better employment facilitation and opportunities

February 17, 2021

Former Senator, now Deputy Speaker, Loren Legarda today said that there is a need to push for further amendments to the amended 1999 Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Act, a law she co-authored in her first term as Senator, to provide better employment facilitation and opportunities to the Filipino people.

The 1999 PESO Act was last amended in 2015 to include the creation of permanent plantilla positions for PESO personnel, funding of PESOs through LGUs’ internal revenue allotment, and improvement of labor market information and employment facilitation service through computerized systems of monitoring, coordination, and reporting.

The three-term Senator filed House Bill 631 that seeks to amend the existing PESO Act to broaden its scope to include entrepreneurship. The existing PESO offices shall then be renamed as the Public Employment and Entrepreneurship Service Office (PEESO), while also establishing the similar offices at the barangay level to be known as the Barangay Employment and Entrepreneurship Service Office (BEESO).

“As of October 2020, we have a total of 43.6 million Filipinos in our labor force, 8.7% of this are unemployed, while 14.4% are underemployed. While the creation of more jobs remains to be the main strategy in resolving our unemployment and underemployment problems, facilitating the matching of job seekers and available job opportunities is critical in achieving optimal allocation and distribution of labor in the shortest possible time,” Legarda said.

“The inclusion of entrepreneurship in the mandate of the PESO aims to offer employment and entrepreneurship opportunities tailored and suited to each job seeker through various trainings and consultations. Whereas the creation of BEESO will provide a more efficient system that would facilitate and regulate labor market by bridging the gap between the job seekers and employers especially our rural workforce,” Legarda added.

Legarda explained that to be more effective, officers of PESO in local government units should take a more proactive role as local employment policy advisers, employment creation managers, and training managers by having counterparts at the barangay level to ensure that job seekers from far-flung areas will have the needed information on the currently available jobs, entrepreneurship trainings and consultations in the labor market.

“The amendment to the PESO Act will address the long-drawn issues of unemployment and underemployment in the country. Promotion of entrepreneurship will not only hone skills of every Filipino but will also encourage self employment opportunities and generate more jobs and income. Moreover, having BEESO officers in every barangay all over the country will augment job matching and ensure that all job seekers will be provided with service and assistance they needed to land a job,” Legarda concluded.***