National and local government units must work together to boost employment facilitation and upskill and re-tool workers, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said on Wednesday.

Leading the inauguration of the Bulacan Public Employment Service Office (PESO) building in Malolos, Bulacan, the first of its kind stand-alone facility in Central Luzon, Bello thanked the province of Bulacan led by Governor Daniel Fernando for ensuring that DOLE programs and services reach workers and jobseekers, through the PESOs.

PESOs are mandated to be established in every province, key city, and other strategic areas throughout the country to ensure prompt, timely, and efficient delivery of employment service and provision of information on DOLE programs.

At the same time, Bello challenged the Bulacan Provincial PESO “to push forth with the full institutionalization of the remaining 17 LGU-based PESOs in your province.”

Aside from employment facilitation, skills training such as shielded metal arc welding, bartending, barista, and dressmaking/sewing will be offered by PESO in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

The new courses will add to the existing training offered by PESO such as food processing, food and beverage services, bread and pastry production, and housekeeping.

Around 500 to 800 in-house skills trainees are expected to benefit this year, Fernando said.

As a stand-alone facility, the PESO building, a three-storey structure with training, conference, and lecture rooms, will enable the local government to provide employment service, information on DOLE programs and services, and skills trainings in a convenient setting.

It also has a Job Search Kiosk upon entry, which is an ATM-type equipment that jobseekers may use to search for information on local and overseas job opportunities and other employment-related information.

“As we usher into the new and better normal, and journey towards bridging quality employment opportunities for all, I hope that each stakeholder and partner would continue to level-up our efforts to bring sustainable jobs and livelihood for our fellow men,” said Bello.

Despite the pandemic, 1.8 million workers and job seekers were provided with up-to-date labor market information and over a million job seekers were placed through the nationwide network of PESOs in 2020.