Baguio City – Benguet, the Department Of Labor and Employment – Cordillera Administrative Region hosted the 2021 Year-End Planning and Assessment/YEPA for the Public Employment Services Office (PESO) – Cordillera at the Hotel Supreme last 28 February until 02 March, 2022. The long-awaited event, which was previously delayed due to local travel restrictions, included an orientation of Executive Order No. 138, series of 2021, on the “Mandanas-Garcia Ruling” and an orientation/re-orientation of relevant DOLE employment programs.

In his inspirational opening message, Regional Director Nathaniel V. Lacambra, CESO III stated that. “This event is an avenue to learn, to be equipped, and empowered as we face another year of serving the people.” RD Lacambra also stressed that as we look forward to the devolution of programs and services to a local level, the Labor and Employment Department through its Regional and Field offices will continue to advocate and assist the program implementers to the grassroots level.

Hailing from Ifugao province, PESOMAP-CAR President Imelda V. Pascual likewise encouraged the attendees to excel in the services they offer. She expressed her gratitude to the ever-supportive DOLE Regional and Field Office staff who unwaveringly committed their time and effort for this endeavor.

Day 1 of the PESO-YEPA kicked off with an overview of learning sessions, presented by Technical Services and Support Division Chief George G. Lubin, Jr. It was followed by an informational orientation on EO No. 132, s. 2021 or the “Mandanas-Garcia Case Supreme Court Ruling” provided by Supervising Budget and Management Specialist James Degsi from the Department of Budget and Management. The Supreme Court decision on the Mandanas case specifies that the just share of Local Government Units must be computed based on all national taxes and not just from National Internal Revenue Taxes/NIRT. Thus, the EO is expected to guide in the facilitation and coordination of national government programs to the LGUs, as well as the programs of the local governments that would need the assistance or approval of the national government.

A substantive discussion on the Overview of the Devolution of DOLE Programs to the Local Government Units was given by Director Brenalyn A. Peji from the Human Resource Development Service/HRDS. Director Peji noted the relevant programs such as Public Employment Services, National Skills Registration Program, Child Labor Profiling, Jobfairs, and Jobstart as among the pioneer DOLE programs to be delegated to the LGUs.

Also presented via Zoom was Labor and Employment Officer III Kyra Querijero from the Employment Service Program Management Division of the Bureau of Local Employment/BLE, who talked about the JobStart Philippines Program which is aimed at enhancing the employability of Filipino youth through full-cycle employment facilitation services.

The afternoon session included a condensed orientation on the Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program/CLPEP by Daryll Ponard LEO III-FNLI. The CLPEP contributes to the Philippine Program Against Child Labor of the national government interventions for eliminating or preventing child labor by promoting child-focused actions, advocacies and activities.

Information Systems Analyst II Kenneth Jon T. Donato discussed about the PEIS, which is an online database and employment facilitation machinery for both employers and jobseekers alike. It provides information on present job vacancies of registered employers as well as the repository of qualifications and skills of the applicants.

Finally, TUPAD Focal Person Lydia Rodas LEO III talked about the TUPAD Program or Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers as a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers, for a certain period depending on the nature of work.

Day 2 session started with updates on DOLE programs including the accomplishments and targets, which was presented by Wendy Salada LEO III. The afternoon session highlighted the giving of recognition and incentives to PESO Managers who have done their best in their work through meaningful contributions in employment services that benefited the constituents. ARD Atty. Anthony A. Wooden, Jr. remarked that the awards are for the collective and unceasing participation in and invaluable contribution of the PESO Managers in continuing DOLE’s efforts toward more responsive delivery of employment facilitation services.

The PESO-YEPA is primarily conducted to assess performance or accomplishment of PESOs throughout the year and at the same time plan for the next year’s activities.

END//Daryll Ponard