LGU Baguio to mandate Baguio – residents-first hiring policy

The city council has enacted an ordinance mandating all employers in the city to prioritize qualified and bonafide residents of Baguio City applying for vacant positions.

Under Ordinance 48-2021 authored by all members of the council, Baguio-based private learning institutions, commercial, industrial, industrial, and business establishments, construction companies, and private contractors and sub-contractors undertaking private construction projects in the city shall hire 90% of their employees consisting of bonafide Baguio residents who are registered with and referred to them by the Public Employment Service Office (PESO).

A person is considered bona fide resident if they stayed in the city or in a barangay in the city for six months or more, the ordinance noted.

The PESO shall certify the referred applicant as a capable individual for the position needed by the employer.

Employers are mandated to submit a list of job vacancies to the PESO and must fill up such vacancies from the unemployed bonafide Baguio residents who are registered with the PESO.

To secure  or renew pertinent business licenses, employers must present a certification from the PESO or the punong barangay who has jurisdiction of the location of the establishment and construction of the project that they have reached the required percentage of employees who are bonafide Baguio residents and are registered with and certified by the office.

The ordinance stressed that if the number of available job applicants is less than the required percentage provided herein, said requirements shall be based on the maximum number of locally-available applicants, which fact shall be certified by the PESO as sufficient compliance with the labor requirements under this ordinance.

According to the ordinance, an employer may hire workers outside the PESO recommendation if, at the time of recruitment and hiring, the jobseekers listed by the office are insufficient to cover the needed workers or if the applicants certified as qualified by the office has demonstrated unwillingness due to unjustified non-appearance during scheduled job hiring activities despite a written notice.

Further, the ordinance stipulated that an employer may hire an applicant outside the PESO recommendation provided the applicant is a bonafide Baguio resident.

An employer is allowed to hire a non-Baguio worker only when there are no available, qualified, and willing applicants who are bonafide residents of the city and is urged to secure a certificate of non-availability from the PESO, the ordinance added.

The permits and Licensing Division and the PESO are tasked to conduct an inventory of non-compliant establishments and submit a report to the city council. They are also required to continue monitoring compliance of employers.

“The measure would be a big help to the resident jobseekers of Baguio City,” the ordinance stated.

The ordinance has been transmitted to the City Mayor’s Office for signing before it takes effect.

The recently approved ordinance is an amendment to an older ordinance (Ordinance 51-1992) with an end goal of strengthening the compliance of business establishments with the city’s policy for investors to give preference to qualified and bonafide Baguio residents in their employment of laborers and personnel . –Jordan G. Habbiling