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DOLE, Iloilo Provincial Govt. inked MOU to rollout JobStart Program in Iloilo

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region 6 Director Johnson G. Canete and Iloilo Provincial Governor Arthur D. Defensor signed today a Memorandum of Undertaking signaling the readiness of the Iloilo Public Employment Service Office (PESO) to implement the JobStart Philippines Program in the Province of Iloilo.


In his message, Iloilo Provincial Governor Arthur D. Defensor thanked the DOLE for bringing the program to the Province of Iloilo. But Canete responded by saying that the DOLE was even more thankful to the local government of Iloilo province because it has accepted the program.


“Even if we have this program if it is not accepted by the local government unit then it will never be implemented,” Canete stated.


Cañete informed the Governor that the Iloilo PESO was selected to be the next implementer of the JobStart Program as a result of the evaluation conducted by a team of evaluators from the Government of Canada and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) wherein the PESO earned a rating of 88.57 per cent.


 The Government of Canada and Asian Development Bank (ADB) provide funding support and technical assistance, respectively, in the implementation of the program.


Alam naman natin na mahirap talaga na makahanap nang trabaho ang mga youth who constitute the bulk of our labor force. Ito na po yung sagot, ang Jobstart Program,” Canete said.


The JobStart Program aims to assist the school-to-work transition of the at-risk youth by enhancing the knowledge and skills they acquired through formal education or technical training so that they will be work-ready.


At-risk youth are those high school graduates who are not employed, studying nor undergoing training at the time of the registration, between 18 to 24 years old and have less than one year experience.


Cañete said that after the training, the trainees can be absorbed by the company which trained them but they are not really obliged to do so.


“What we expect to happen is for the job starters to be ready for work because their skills, their qualifications have been improved and developed,” he added.


The program offers a full-cycle employment facilitation service which include: 1) Registration and client assessment; 2) Life Skills Training with one-on-one career guidance; 3) Job matching; 4) Technical training; and, 5) Referral of beneficiaries either for internship, or for wage employment, in an establishment.


Around 200 trainees or jobstarters are targeted to benefit in the initial implementation of this program in the Province of Iloilo.


Cañete was hoping that more PESOs in the Region will be able to qualify to implement the JobStart Program so as to give the same opportunity to at risk-youth in their areas.





The DOLE and the Iloilo PESO have already scheduled this August a forum for selected employers which will participate in the program.

 The JobStart Philippines Program was first launched in May 2014 in four areas of the country to test the effectiveness of the program design. Then, in 2015, ten more areas were added.

Dir. Ca┼łete
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