Bacolod City, Negros Occident. Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo lauded the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Public Employment Service Offices (PESO) during the 19th National Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Congress held at the SMX Convention Center, SM City, Bacolod City for being the reasons why the country has a thriving labor force.

Panelo was the keynote speaker of the just concluded 19th National PESO Congress held last Oct. 9-11, 2019 which successfully gathered approximately 1,500 PESO Managers and staff, Job Placement Officers, Local Chief Executives and some local government officials, DOLE officials and staff from all over the country.

In his message, Panelo commended the DOLE and PESO for giving the Filipino workers opportunity to foster learning and exchange best practices on how to improve employment facilitation services. He stated that the Duterte administration is extremely grateful for the work that these institutions do each day. “Your work, albeit challenging and stressful, is already bearing fruit,” he said.

According to him, the present administration is very delightful and proud that the country’s unemployment rate remained stagnant at 5.5 per cent in April 2019, the lowest recorded rate for all the April rounds of the Labor Force Survey in the past decade, while underemployment rate also went down by 3.3 percent, from 17.2 per cent in July 2018 to 13.9 per cent in the same period this year.

(L-R) DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III hands over the Plaque of Appreciation to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo for being the keynote speaker during the 19th National PESO Congress held at SMX Convention Center, SM City, Bacolod City last Oct. 9-11, 2019. Assisting him were Bureau of Local Employment Director Dominique R. Tutay and PESOMAP President Norman Ordiz.

Despite these gains, however, Panelo acknowledges that “much more remains to be done.” But, he is positive that with heavy labor and commitment to uplift the socio-economic situation of the citizenry, the country will achieve its goal of giving decent jobs to every Filipino workers and put a stop to hunger through employment.

“Indeed, all our hard work is already reaping benefits for the Filipino work force. Much more, however, remains to be done,” he said.