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Message of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda DOLE Region 9 PESO Year-End Performance Assessment, Planning Sessions and Awarding Ceremony (December 16, 2020)

December 22, 2020

 

Message of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda DOLE Region 9 PESO Year-End Performance Assessment, Planning Sessions and Awarding Ceremony

(December 16, 2020) 

 

Good afternoon.

Allow me first to greet our guests and participants for the DOLE Region 9 PESO Year-End Performance Assessment, Planning Sessions and Awarding Ceremony: Atty. Roy L. Buenafe, OIC-Regional Director, DOLE Region 9; Imelda F. Gatinao, OIC-Assistant Regional Director, DOLE 9; Gaudencio R. Abejaro, Jr., President, Zamboanga Peninsula PESO Managers Association and the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Managers and Job Placement Officers (JPO) of the DOLE Region 9.

I congratulate the Department of Labor and Employment Region 9 and its Public Employment Service Officers and Job Placement Officers for faithfully adhering to the objectives of the law that I helped enact during my first term as Senator, the PESO Act:  helping allocate workers from sector to sector, from occupation to occupation, and realigning and redirecting workers to where new opportunities are available. This is even more crucial now considering that our labor market has been gravely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Clearly the Zamboanga Peninsula employment service network greatly contributed to the unemployment level in the Peninsula that is now normalizing.  As you know, the unemployment level in the region even went down to 6.3% in July, much lower than the April-rate at 23.9% during the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine in April this year.  In terms of warm bodies, there were 242,000 who were out of work in April compared to an almost normal time level of 153,000 today.

From April this year, Zamboanga Peninsula has restored and created more than 236,000 employment opportunities for its labor force; a feat that can only be attributed to the resiliency of the regional economy and to the heroic efforts of the DOLE and its partners, the PESOs and the Job Placement Officers who gave all their efforts in providing placement services, emergency jobs, trainings, livelihood and entrepreneurial interventions particularly for the poorest segment of the workforce.

Moving forward, therefore, I urge all of you, considering that the pandemic is not yet over and wage employment will not be easy to come by, to focus more on performing active labor market interventions and create opportunities for self-employment and entrepreneurship.  This way, with the help of these own account workers, we hope to ensure the resilience and sustainability of the regional economy.   

Again, to all of us who believe that providing a person gainful employment is not just about giving him/her income but, more importantly, the dignity of work, congratulations and let us all celebrate the 20th year of the PESO Act of 2000.

Thank you very much.