Zamboanga City – The Department of Labor and Employment Region 9 gathered 55 Local Chief Executives (LCE) from the entire region to the 2nd LCE Forum with the theme: “Forging Alliance towards Local Development: PESO Institutionalization”, on August 16, 2019 at Garden Orchid Hotel, Zamboanga City.

Director Ofelia B. Domingo of DOLE 9 emphasized that the LCE forum is a gathering of great men and women to establish solid foundation between DOLE and Local Government Units in underscoring the implementation of RA 10691 or the PESO Act of 2015 which defines the role of LGUs in the operation and maintenance of a Public Employment Service Office and to ensure its institutionalization.

She also highlighted that the forum aims to provide fundamental information on the workings of PESO and align the programs and services of DOLE with the priorities of the LGUs as partners in local development.

The LCE forum was graced by top officials from DOLE – Secretary Hon. Silvestre H. Bello III and Undersecretary Renato L. Ebarle. Sec. Bello gave an inspirational message to the Chief Executives and called for their support to fill the gap between the established and the institutionalized PESOs during their respective terms.

In his keynote message, Cabinet Secretary Hon. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles pointed out that when the Mandanas Ruling will be put into effect, all of the Internal Revenue Allotments (IRA) will increase, which will subsequently decrease the funding of the national government, hence this translates that more functions will be devolved to the Local Government Units (LGUs), to include job generation.

He further challenged the LCEs to institutionalize the PESOs as a result of the forum and to look at the long-term perspective which will redound to the benefit of the people in their localities.

Mayors Hon. Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar of Zamboanga City, Hon. Samuel S. Co of Pagadian City, and Hon. Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman shared best practices of their cities with institutionalized PESOs as regard employment facilitation.

One of the highlights of the LCE forum is the awarding of best implementers of DOLE programs and services to 6 LGUs – Zamboanga City, LGU Tungawan, Pagadian City, LGU Molave, LGU Dumingag, and special recognition to Dapitan City. Also, 7 LGUs were recognized for institutionalizing the PESO after the 1st LCE forum.

55 LCEs were in attendance – Gov. Atty. Wilter Palma of Zamboanga Sibugay, Vice Gov. Roy Ariosa of Zamboanga del Sur, 39 Mayors, 8 Vice Mayors, and 6 representatives (City Administrators, Municipal Administrators, SB Members, and PESO Manager).

As a result of the forum 32 LCEs pledged to institutionalize their PESOs within 2019 and January to June 2020. /END

–With reports from Nathalie A. Albino, Planning Officer-Designate, TRU