First launched in 2007, the SBP is an annual activity that recognizes the significant role of the country’s almost 2,000 PESOs in the implementation of the DOLE-initiated employment facilitation programs at the grassroots level.

 “SBP likewise serves as an avenue to acknowledge the exemplary performance of some PESOs as local hubs for labor market information (LMI), career guidance and employment coaching, and job referral and placement for constituent-jobseekers. These are the core services of the PESOs,” she added.

All existing PESOs are covered in the SBP—local government units (LGU) (i.e. provincial, city, and municipal), non-government organizations (NGO), educational institutions (EIs) (i.e. state universities and colleges or SUC and private schools), and community-based organizations (CBO)—provided they are operational and active for a period of at least one (1) year to nomination.

 For the purposes of transparency and credibility of the selection process, the DOLE, through the BLE as resident member of the national SBP Screening Committee, is being guided by the locally published and disseminated Manual on the Search for Best PESO. The manual imparts the criteria and documentation requirements for SBP applications. It also standardizes the evaluation process being adopted by said committee for both regional and national levels.

 “The 46 entries are recipients of various Regional Best PESO Awards. Should they pass the screening, they will be introduced as official nominees that will vie for the National Best PESO Awards,” she explained.

 Same as with the regional, the National Best PESO Awards comprise nine (9) categories according to type and income classification: Province (1st, 2nd, and 3rd to 5th classes), City (highly urbanized city or HUC, and component city or CC/independent component city or ICC), Municipality (1st to 2nd, 3rd to 4th, and 5th to 6th classes), and Non-LGU-Based (NGO/EI/CBO).

 Davao del Norte (Region XI), Cebu (VII), Iloilo (VI), Rizal (IV-A), Tarlac (III), La Union (I), and Agusan del Norte (CARAGA) are pre-qualifiers for the Best PESO-1st Class Province category. A lone entry for the 2nd Class Province category is Norther Samar (VIII). There is none for 3rd-5th Class Province category.

 For the HUC Category, submissions came from the Cities of Tacloban (VIII), Cebu (VII), Zamboanga (IX), Olongapo (III), Valenzuela (NCR), General Santos (XII), Baguio (CAR), and Iligan (X). On the other hand, the Cities of Panabo (XI), Dumaguete (VII), Biñan (IV-A), Mabalacat (III), Tandag (CARAGA), Tacurong (XII), Tabuk (CAR), and Santiago (II) are pre-qualifiers for the Component City category.

 As for Municipal PESOs, entries came from: Sta. Cruz (XI), Liloan (VII), Lambunao (VI), Siay (IX), Angono (IV-A), Masinloc (III), Polomoloc (XII), manolo (X), and Claver (CARAGA) for the 1st-2nd Class Municipality category; Magsaysay (XI), Concepcion (VI), Pila (IV-A), Bacarra (I), Alfonso (CAR), and Cordon (II) for the 3rd-4th Class Municipality category; and Maripipi (VIII), Cutalac (IX), and San Juan (CAR) for the 5th-6th Class Municipality category.

 Finally, for the Non-LGU-Based category, the University of Mindanao-Tagum City (XI), Cebu Technological University (VII), Saint Vincent College (XI), and Bulacan State University (III) are pre-qualifiers.

 As part of the final evaluation, there may be unannounced ocular validation/site visits of the national SBP Screening Committee.

 In addition to the nine (9) major awards, the SBP Hall of Fame Award is given to a PESO that bags Best PESO Awards for three (3) consecutive years in the same category. Of the SBP entries this year, PESO-University of Mindanao-Tagum City, having won in the past two (2) years, could be able to bag the SBP Hall of Fame Award, should it be officially nominated and announced winner in its category.

 Thirteen (13) PESOs are already in the active list of SBP Hall of Fame Awards. These PESOs are expected to maintain their outstanding performance and stature in the roster.