Three regions from Mindanao conducted their benchmarking activities in Iloilo Province to learn and witness first-hand the localized implementation of R.A 10869 or the JobStart Philippine Program of the provincial PESO.
From November 9 to 11, delegates consisting of DOLE officers, PESO Managers, and staff from Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), Region 11 (Davao Region), and CARAGA visited provincial PESO’s partner employers and program beneficiaries in the municipalities of Sta. Barbara, Lambunao, Carles, and Pavia.
Delegates from three regions also met with Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Jr., Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, Iloilo 4th District Board Member Rolando Distura, Provincial PESO Manager Francisco T. Heler, Jr., Sta. Barbara Mayor Dennis Superficial, Lambunao Mayor Reynor Gonzales, and Carles Vice Mayor Arnold Betita.
The provincial PESO JobStart team composed of Jayrel Encontro, Isah Mae Depra, and Edzel Diaday highlighted the experience, innovations, and challenges in implementing the program while sharing best practices at Solina Beach & Nature Resort in Carles on November 10.
Delegates from Panabo City, Pagadian City, Tagum City, and the Province of Agusan Del Sur all gave their commendation to the provincial PESO for sustaining the implementation of the program, particularly in its localization and reach.
Moreover, the delegates were also impressed by the number of employers Iloilo Province was able to partner with for the program, including the diversity of job pledges for the beneficiaries.
Accompanying the delegates to different sites during the benchmarking activity were the provincial PESO JobStart team and the DOLE 6 regional and provincial officers including Technical Support Services Division Chief Arlyn Siaotong, DOLE Iloilo Field Office Chief Melisa Navara, Internal Management Services Division Chief Cecilia Acebuque, and Regional JobStart Focal Austin Shane Fantilaga.
Under the JobStart program, youth beneficiaries undergo employment assessment and participate in a 10-day Life Skills Training (LST) Program, a maximum of three (3) months of Technical Training with allowance, and maximum of three (3) months of company-paid internships. The program has a two-track pathway: those ready for a job are referred to employers (wage employment pathway). At the same time, the rest go through further career guidance, technical training, and internships with employers (training and internship pathway).
In 2017, 2019, and 2021 the Iloilo Provincial Government through PESO implemented the JobStart Program. The implementation had tripartite funding from DOLE-GAA, Iloilo Provincial Government, and Asian Development Bank. The IPG counterpart covered for the Medical Fees, Security Clearances Fees, and Accident Insurance of the beneficiaries, including miscellaneous program operating expenses.
For 2022, Iloilo Province commenced the localization of the program by providing full-cycle funding for 20 beneficiaries, while DOLE provides funding for 80 trainees.