(File photo)

MANILA – The Public Employment Service Office (PESO) has assisted over 1.2 million job applicants in different local government units (LGUs) nationwide amid the pandemic, an official of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Wednesday.

DOLE Assistant Secretary Dominique Tutay said PESO has made it easier for the 1.2 million Filipinos find employment from January to August this year.

“Our PESO was able to facilitate about 1.2 million jobseekers. They have been placed for employment, the data is from January to August of this year,” she said in a virtual forum.

Tutay said the figure before the pandemic is higher.

“This is not much compared to the more than 2 million that we are facilitating pre-pandemic. So you would see the impact of Covid-19 when it comes to employment facilitation,” she said.

The PESO aims to ensure prompt and efficient delivery of employment facilitation services as well as to provide timely information on labor market and DOLE programs.

Tutay said while the granular lockdown is a welcome development, it would be better if more establishments will be allowed to operate.

“So, it would be better if we open up our economy. I think that 50 to 75 percent is a big thing for us to boost our state of employment,” she said.

“We are looking at the sectors in terms of our one million jobs project with the National Employment Recovery Strategy task force and the Employers Confederation of the Philippines. These sectors are construction, manufacturing and then also included hotel accommodation under the Tourism related sector and of course, Information Technology-Business Process Management,” she added.

Assistance for workers

Meanwhile, the DOLE said assistance in the form of bicycle units, livelihood, and cash-for-work totaling PHP59.2 million were given to beneficiaries in the cities of Pasay, Marikina, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Pasig, and Manila and the municipality of Pateros.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III witnessed the awarding ceremony in Pasay City together with DOLE-NCR Regional Director Sarah Buena Mirasol and Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano, where bicycle units, livelihood grants, and emergency employment wages were distributed to the workers on Tuesday.

Under the DOLE’s BikeCination Project, beneficiaries from the 16 cities and one municipality in NCR received bicycle units and mobile phones with load cards for their food delivery start-up amounting to a total of PHP21.2 million.

“Through these bicycle units, we aim to provide an alternative source of income to informal sector workers or their next of kin under the A4 category who have completed their vaccine against Covid-19. This is one incentive to encourage our workers to get vaccinated and to help in the country's fight against this pandemic,” he said in a statement.

A total of 330 beneficiaries also received livelihood grants amounting to PHP2.6 million under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program.

Among the beneficiaries are 250 members of Alyansa ng mga Nakakatanda sa Komunidad, Inc. for their food bank project amounting to PHP970,000; 60 women OFW returnees who are members of Development Action for Women Network Inc. for their sewing and pattern making project amounting to PHP999,570; and 20 beneficiaries of the Negosyo sa Kariton (NegoKart) amounting to PHP600,000.

Bello reminded the grantees to use the DOLE assistance wisely.
Meanwhile, a totally 3,551 informal sector workers from Marikina, Pateros, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Pasig, and Manila were given temporary employment and subsequently received their wages amounting to PHP35.5

The beneficiaries were provided jobs under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program. (PNA)