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The need to compile and analyze statistics on labor and employment has long been recognized. In fact, the then Bureau of Labor had a Division of Statistics to handle such function since 1910. In 1933, when the Department of Labor was created, one of its offices was the Division of Labor Statistics. However, in 1941, the Division was transferred to the Bureau of the Census and Statistics. Subsequently, research and statistics were carried out by different offices and bureaus within the Department until 1953 when a Report and Analysis Division was established in the newly created National Employment Service to undertake these functions in cooperation with the Bureau of Employment Services.
The reorganization in 1957 of the Department of Labor included the establishment of a Labor Statistics Division which was expanded into the Labor Statistics Service in September 1962 with two divisions: the Surveys and Statistical Standards Division and the Research, Analysis and Publication Division. Eleven years later, with the implementation of the Integrated Reorganization Plan, the Service became the Labor Statistics and Information Service carrying out its functions through two divisions, namely: Labor Statistics Division and Information Division.
The Labor Statistics and Information Service was reconstituted in August 1975 to concentrate on research and statistics. Its former responsibility on information was transferred to the newly created Information and Publication Service. However, with the promulgation of Executive Order 797 in May 1982, the reorganization of the entire Department of Labor and Employment was completed to meet the requirements of the labor sector as embodied in the new Labor Code. From one division, the Service expanded to three: the Surveys and Statistical Standards Division, the Data Processing Division and the Data Analysis Division.
Later, the demands of national economic recovery after 1986 EDSA Revolution necessitated changes in the organizational and functional structure of the entire bureaucracy. Hence, the Department was reorganized anew under Executive Order 126 dated 30 January 1987. One of its provisions was the abolition of the Labor Statistics Service and the creation of the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES) as one of the six bureaus of the Department. The Bureau is functionally structured along three program areas and one support services division.
In 2008, the BLES established its Quality Management System (QMS) in keeping with the internal reforms of the Department aimed at enhancing client satisfaction. The BLES QMS has been assessed and certified as meeting the requirements of a QMS since April 2002. It is certified as compliant to ISO 9001:2008.
The BLES develops policies, programs, projects, operating guidelines and standards, and provides advisory to the Office of the Secretary and the Regional Offices relative to generation, analysis and dissemination of statistics on labor and employment.
The BLES has the following basic functions:
The Bureau has four divisions, namely, Employment and Manpower Statistics Division, Labor Relations Statistics Division, Labor Standards Statistics Division and Program Management and Technical Support Services Division (formerly Technical Services Division), with the corresponding duties and responsibilities, as follows:
Labor Standards Statistics Division (LSSD)
Employment and Manpower Statistics Division (EMSD)
Labor Relations Statistics Division (LRSD)
Program Management and Technical Support Services Division (formerly Technical Services Division)