Legarda to expand ‘Peso’ law upon Senate return

February 16, 2022 People's Tonight 312 views

WITH unemployment hovering around 6.5 percent due to COVID-19, Deputy Speaker and Uniteam senatorial bet Loren Legarda said she plans to inject more funds and expand the coverage of the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) to help more Filipinos get work or become entrepreneurs.

“Among the first bills I co-authored and subsequently enacted into law as Senator was the PESO Act. While it was amended in 2015, I now intend, through a new Senate term, to strengthen it further and spread employment opportunities down to the barangay level,” Legarda said.

The former three-term Senator seeks to amend the PESO Act to broaden its scope to include entrepreneurship. She said existing PESO offices shall be renamed Public Employment and Entrepreneurship Service Office (PEESO), while offices at the barangay level will be known as the Barangay Employment and Entrepreneurship Service Office (BEESO), she said.

To be more effective, Legarda said PESO officers in local government units should play more proactive roles as local employment policy advisers, employment creation managers, and training managers. They should also have counterparts at the barangay level to ensure that job seekers from far-flung areas will have the needed information on currently available jobs, entrepreneurship trainings and consultations in the labor market.

As this developed, Legarda said lawmakers should strive not only be crafters of law but should also be responsible in ensuring that laws passed are supported and have adequate financing, she stressed.

Legarda said the country has enough laws to provide Filipinos with wider livelihood opportunities through employment or setting up of businesses but these are not being fully implemented due to lack of funds.

“As principal author of the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise in my second term in 2007, my pursuit when the law was passed is that we will be able to find the funds which we did successfully allocate from government programs on MSME support,” she noted.

She said that as the proponent of the Barangay Skills and Training Act, she had to find ways to have the law effectively implemented. The program is now being carried out by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

“The laws are in place, we just need to provide adequate support and funding and have oversight in their effective implementation,” she said.