Bacolod City, Negros Occidental – The 19th National Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Congress held on October 9-11, 2019, had its participants on the edge of their seats on the first night of the National Congress for the awarding of the 2019 Best PESO at the SMX Convention Center, SM City Bacolod, preceded by a speech from Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III.

The Labor Secretary made a few jokes about himself, lightening the mood of the crowd and making the audience laugh, delivering his message with much optimism and support for the PESO program, saying, “I have much to look forward [to] in this vital and lovable employment program …,” and ending his message with admiration to the PESO, stating, “Your unfailing commitment arms me with the confidence that this program is in safe hands.”

The Best PESO Awards are given to those performing PESOs whose contributions and accomplishments to the employment facilitation programs are recognized, covering the operational and institutionalized PESOs, LGU-PESO and/or School-based PESO, now called Job Placement Office, each entry undergoing a rigorous screening process just to be nominated for the awards.

    On stage to receive the award and check were (L to R): Kenneth June Eusebio, PESO Guimaras Focal Person; Aryln Siatong, OIC – Head, Guimaras Field Office; Cyril L. Ticao, DOLE Region 6 Director; Governor Samuel Gumarin, Province of Guimaras, and Elena V. Quezon, Manager, PESO Province of Guimaras.

Every PESO candidate must be undertaking at least one of the PESO Core Services namely: (1) Referral and Placement, (2) Employment Guidance and Counseling, (3) and Labor Market Information.

Among those awarded the prestigious Best PESO Award, along with a grant of Php 100,000.00 was the Province of Guimaras for being the Best PESO in the 3rd to 5th Class Province having won over the Province of Quirino, securing the first win for the province after vying for it the previous year.

Ms. Elena Quezon, Province of Guimaras PESO Manager was surprised of the award. She thought her office did not meet the minimum requirements. When asked what were her plans to qualify for next year’s Best PESO Award and to attain the Hall of Fame status, which is achieved once a PESO has been awarded the Best PESO Award for three consecutive years, Ms. Quezon said she already has several activities lined up which will help level up their performance and quality again in next year’s search for Best PESO.

If the Hall of Fame status is achieved, the PESO is automatically eligible for a Php150,000.00 grant over and above the Php 100,000.00 initial grant given.

This year’s PESO Congress had three Hall of Fame awardees: Bulacan State University (for Job Placement Office); Mabalacat City PESO (for Component City), and Olongapo City PESO and Valenzuela City PESO (for Highly Urbanized Cities).