To address unemployment, the Tagum City Government through the City Public Education and Employment Services Office (PEESO) created Tagumpay Works which is a holistic and inclusive social empowerment program that capitalized on education, livelihood, and employment. The program aims to bridge the gap between an applicant’s education, competencies, and employment by strengthening the city’s employment facilitation services. Its main approach was to provide strong career guidance and employment coaching as well as skills development and capacity enhancement. The program's strategies include expanding reach beyond traditional clients, prioritizing services to disadvantaged sectors, employing multiple delivery channels, and utilizing the labor market information to improve overall service delivery and performance.
Activities of the program include the conduct of career guidance to graduating elementary students and their parents to assist them in the identification of suitable courses to take. This intervention at the early stage helped inform students of their career choices and to better prepare them to get into their desired jobs. Moreover, the program also cascaded its employment facilitation services down to the barangay level through the establishment of a Barangay Employment Desk (BED) to reach out to more jobseekers in the city.
It also introduced the Philippine Talent Map Online Test that helps determine the applicant's competencies, strengths, and weaknesses in terms of their employability. The test enabled the PEESO to effectively refer job applicants to potential employers, and tailor fit skills training, entrepreneurial training or livelihood assistance. Hence, more than 46,000 college graduates and undergraduates underwent career coaching under the program from 2015 to 2017. It also saw an increased number of job applicants referred to potential employers from 17,873 in 2015 to 20,576 in 2017. Out of the 20,576 referred applicants, around 18,931 were hired in 2017.
The city government was also successful in lowering its unemployment rate from 5.8% in 2015 to 4.5% in 2017. The job placement of applicants also rose from 16,584 in 2015 to 18,931 in 2017. It has also empowered 4,388 micro and small-scale entrepreneurs to develop their businesses through affordable loans. In addition, there are around 3,279 skills training graduates of the program who are either self-employed or employed locally and abroad from 2015 to 2017.
With the success of the program, the Tagum City Government was able to establish poverty alleviation mechanisms through jobs, education and livelihood as well as a platform for civic engagement and people empowerment. It was also noted that LGUs across the country and other international organizations such as the Asian Development Bank have invited Tagum City to share their best practices in implementing the Tagumpay Works program. The effort of the PEESO was recognized as a Hall of Fame Awardee as Best PESO Office in the Philippines in 2015. The program served as a benchmark for LGUs to have independence to put together appropriate infrastructure to meet the employment needs of their constituents.