What makes Iloilo PESO the best?
By Jezza Nepomoceno
ILOILO – Francisco T. Heler, the chief of the Public Employment and Service Office (PESO) of the Iloilo Provincial Government, did not expect his office to win in 2016 National Search for Best PESO.
Iloilo PESO bested six other nominees to the Best PESO National Award during the recently-concluded 16th National PESO Congress held in Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino in Cebu City.
The other nominees for the award were PESOs in Agusan Del Sur, Tarlac, La Union, Rizal, Cebu and Davao del Norte.
Heler admitted that he has been praying for their entry to win since it was already their third nomination. When asked how they made it on top, he explained that it was all about team effort.
“There were number of factors why we won and I believe it’s all about team effort. We could never get it without the support of our valued partners in the private sector, academe and government,” Heler explained.
Iloilo PESO has been in existence since 1992. But it was only institutionalized in 2015 through the enactment of Provincial Ordinance No. 2015-122 on October 13, 2015.
Sponsored by former Vice Governor now 5th District Representative Raul Tupas, the ordinance was pursuant to Republic Act 8759 or the PESO Act of 1999.
Heler said the passage of the ordinance helped them “perfect” the scorecard for PESO’s sustainability.
Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. said Iloilo PESO has been instrumental in finding immediate solutions to the increasing unemployment and poverty rates in the province.
“This office is as important as the other front-line offices. It is responsible for job facilitation and other services that can contribute to the empowerment of our people,” said Defensor.
Based on March 2011 household survey of Provincial Population Office, 21% or 274,244 of the 1,283,114 respondents were unemployed in Iloilo and 32.20% (121,950) were living below poverty line.
The provincial government has a regular appropriation for the conduct of the programs and activities of PESO to ensure its sustainability.
Heler said they will expand the network of Iloilo PESO to solicit more job vacancies, both local and abroad, for eligible and competent jobseekers during their periodic job fairs.
They will also maximize their livelihood and self-employment bazaars and strengthen its special credit assistance for placed overseas workers and special recruitment activities.
The special program for employment of students and out-of-school youths, government internship program and skills training will also be prioritized. (END)