City Government of Bacoor, Cavite
Best Practice Focus Area/s
Leadership, Citizens / Customers, Operations
This is a GBPR finalist entry
The City of Bacoor has always responded decisively in addressing its people’s concerns and plight, particularly in employment. Through the leadership of former Mayor Lani Mercado Revilla, the Bacoor Public Employment Service Office (PESO) has always heeded the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) challenge to provide decent work for its constituents through local and national government programs. This commitment is visible in the office’s many employment efforts and the move to address the present concern of work displacement brought about by the pandemic. The Jobs Generation and Facilitation Program is a special add-on to the regular activity being performed and spearheaded by the Bacoor PESO Department and OFW Help Desk Office for all its constituents.
Background and Problem
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, unemployment in the country soared to 17.7% in April 2020. This is said to be the highest unemployment rate on record. This number actually represents around 7.3 million Filipinos who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. DOLE estimated more than 5 million jobs would be lost due to the pandemic. Almost all regions registered a double-digit unemployment rate in April 2020. Reports noted that 38.4% of employed workers said they were not working, even if they wanted to, primarily due to the strict imposition of lockdown because of COVID-19.
Upon announcement of the lockdown, the City of Bacoor strictly adhered to all quarantine protocols and procedures issued by the National Government to help address the growing concerns on COVID-19 disease and protect people’s lives under its care. Consequently, several business establishments in the city were forced to operate on a lean schedule, thus affecting the livelihood and income of the Bacooreños. The once robust business climate is now a distant memory, and laborers and entrepreneurs face a bleak future brought about unexpectedly by the seemingly harmless virus affecting millions globally.
Unemployment and underemployment are at an all-time high. As the National Government implemented a halt on public transportation upon the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID19, the City had to address the growing demand of every barangay for daily food delivery and bare essentials due to limited access to transportation. Fueled by a sincere desire to help improve, uplift, and proactively change the lives of the Bacooreños from this evident and harsh actual scenario, the City Government of Bacoor, through the Bacoor PESO, was moved to conceptualize and implement a vigorous campaign and innovative employment strategies.
Solution and Impact
The Bacoor PESO has always spearheaded job-generating activities like job fairs, local recruitment, career information guidance, and pre-employment seminars. Partnerships are also established with private academic institutions offering senior high school programs to help their graduates look for work after graduation to earn their tertiary education. To date, the Local Government of the City of Bacoor, through the PESO, has initiated the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement with St. Michael’s Institute, St. Francis of Assisi College, and the Dep-Ed Schools in Bacoor. The main aim of the formal engagement is to ensure that graduates of partner academic institutions will be prioritized and accommodated by the Bacoor PESO Office in their job-seeking efforts and will be given employment coaching and labor market information seminars for additional information about the actual world outside the four walls of the classroom.
Collaboration with the City Social Welfare Development (CSWD), Bacoor Livelihood, and the Barangays is sought regularly by providing updated labor market information, particularly on available jobs through accredited private companies of the Bacoor PESO via the Local Recruitment Activity.
When the COVID19 pandemic struck, the City Government of Bacoor and PESO implemented “The Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Jobs Generation and Facilitation Program of the Local Government Unit, City of Bacoor in the Time of the Global COVID-19 Pandemic.” The LGU entered a Memorandum of Agreement with FoodPanda Philippines, Inc. and JoyRide/Happy Move Company to help answer the city’s employment and food delivery service needs. The program provided work to almost 300 displaced Bacooreño tricycle drivers, ordinary workers, and interested OFWs and simultaneously answered the demand for delivery services for food and other essentials in the city. DOLE Region 4A commended the program for its “out-of-the-box ideas in delivering enhanced and improved employment service suitable for the current situation.” DOLE further recognized that “these services are needed more than ever, especially now that many members of our labor force are affected due to the stringent community quarantine.”
The office also implemented a system for online job applications to secure employment and to help people with limited access to transportation due to the stringent community quarantine procedures and protocols.
The Bacoor PESO is a non-fee charging multi-employment service facility established through Republic Act No. 8759, known as the PESO Act of 1999. It is linked to DOLE for coordination and technical supervision and to DOLE’s central office, which constitutes national employment and service networks. The Bacoor PESO ensures prompt and efficient employment services and information on other DOLE programs. It seeks to provide, promote, and facilitate employment services to job seekers, employers, and stakeholders through capacity development and linkage with government and non-government entities. For years, Bacoor PESO has provided employers and prospective employees opportunities to meet and become partners in nation-building through jobs generating activities. Bacoor PESO was institutionalized in 2012 and has served more people through essential employment services. It also manages and supervises the OFW Help Desk Office, which caters to our “modern-day heroes” concerns.
In July 2013, the DOLE Region 4A Office recognized Bacoor PESO as the “Best Regional PESO.” On September 25, 2013, Bacoor PESO was also nominated for being the “Top Regional Performer,” a recognition that qualified the office for the national best PESO Award. For two consecutive years, in 2019 and 2020, DOLE also recognized the efforts of the Bacoor PESO in helping the agency attain its goal of establishing reliable Labor Market Information through the immediate implementation of the yearly Enhanced Monthly Employment Report.
In June 2020, at the height of the COVID19 pandemic, DOLE Calabarzon Regional Director Henry John S. Jalbuena expressed his utmost commendations to the Bacoor PESO Manager and Local Chief Executive for their out-of-the-box ideas in delivering enhanced and improved employment services suitable for the current situation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the innovations that emerged in the Region are the partnership of Bacoor with food delivery service applications like FoodPanda, JoyRide, and HappyMove, which benefitted displaced tricycle drivers, ordinary laborers, and some OFWs. The effort of the PESO to help address the employment needs of the Bacooreños during the pandemic was hailed as “inspirational.” It was cited in former Mayor Revilla’s recent State of the City Address (SOCA).