Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis Baldoz yesterday strongly expressed her and the Department of Labor and Employment’s support to the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, or K-12 Program, saying it is the way to go to make the country’s human resource development at par with Asian and global standards.
“We at the DOLE are unequivocal in our support to the K to 12 program because this serves as the foundational platform in creating a job-ready workforce. We support its goal to equip Filipinos to become globally-competitive. It is also aligned with our efforts to make Philippine basic education at par with international curriculum and standards so that our graduates will be highly-employable and ready as we join an integrated ASEAN economic community,” Baldoz said.
Citing specifics, Baldoz said the DOLE-DepEd-TESDA-CHED Joint Guidelines on the Implementation of the Labor and Management Component of R.A. 10533 (K to 12 Program), which took effect on 15 July 2015, contains the inter-agency mitigation measures.
She said that on the part of the DepEd, it has established a “green lane” for hiring of displaced higher education institution (HEI) personnel.
“Would-be displaced teaching personnel can fill up the demand for some 30,000 new teaching positions in 2016 when the senior high school component of the K-12 starts to be implemented. There is also a demand for 6,000 new non-teaching personnel in 2016 and another 30,000 teaching positions in 2017. The “green lane” will prioritize and fast-track employment of the would-be displaced private education workers in terms of finding them comparable salaries and matching them in locality,” Baldoz said.
For non-teaching personnel, Baldoz said they could fill up the demand for Registered Career Guidance Counselors (RGCs), as the DepEd had said it would need 8,677 RGCs based on the ideal ratio of one RGC per 500 students, or 5,020 RGCs based on one RGC per secondary school. Records of the Professional Regulation Commission indicate that there are only 2,728 RGCs as of the 3rd quarter of 2014.
On the part of the CHED, it will offer scholarships for graduate studies for personnel who want to pursue masters or doctoral degrees and will make available development grants to enhance personnel skills through training on updating of teaching strategies; industry immersion; community service and extension; and research and development. It will also offer a special package for senior high school teachers transferring from HEIs, and innovation grants to include assistance for international linkages, academe-industry linkages, and R&D of niche and priority programs.
Baldoz emphatically said that the DOLE has cast its lot with K-12 from the very beginning, noting that it is one of the programs enrolled in the government’s Career Guidance Advocacy Program to address the so-called job mismatch.
“As the DepEd and other convergence partners carry out the K-12, we stand ready with our support, especially in implementing mitigation and safety net measures to protect those who will be displaced during the transition which may only occur during the program’s first three years,” she explained, adding:
“Adjustment measures and mechanisms are in place that may be availed of by would-be affected K-12 higher education institution workers. These measures are anchored on their need for social protection and linked to their active reintegration in the labor market.”
She said the DOLE will provide income support/income augmentation to teaching and non-teaching personnel—both permanent and casual—who will not be absorbed by the DepEd, for three months for probationary employees and a maximum period of six months for permanent employees.
“This income support will be linked to job search, training, and livelihood,” she said.
For employment facilitation, the DOLE, according to Baldoz, will assist in monitoring and profiling would-be displaced teaching and non-teaching personnel through the Regional Inter-Agency Coordinating and Monitoring Committee and the DOLE’s Quick Response Team.
She further elaborated that the DOLE will extensively deliver labor market information using the Phil-JobNet—where there is posted over 400 available teaching-related vacancies, such as language teachers, Filipino teachers, private tutors, professional tutors, and special education teachers—as well as the Public Employment Service Offices, Private Recruitment and Placement Agencies, and registered contractors and subcontractors for job referral and placement, as well as the country’s network of career guidance counsellors and career advocates for career guidance and employment coaching.
“There will be needed in the academe the following positive list occupations with post-graduate degrees and specializations: architect, landscape architect, naval architect, marine engineer, chemical and electronics engineer, fish technologist, geologist, librarian, nutritionist/dietician, psychologist, and guidance counsellor,” she said.
“They can also explore in-demand decent work opportunities in industries deemed as Key Employment Generators, namely, agribusiness; banking and finance; construction; education; health and wellness; hotel, restaurant and tourism; ICT/BPM; mining; manufacturing; ownership, dwellings, and real estate; power and utilities; and wholesale and retail trade,” she added further.
On training and livelihood, Baldoz said would-be displaced education workers could avail of skills and livelihood training from the TESDA which has bundled an offer of professional services together with start-up capital for new business ventures.
Relative to this, the labor and employment chief said the DOLE supports the legislative measure establishing the Tertiary Education Transition Fund which seeks to provide financial assistance to academic personnel, as well as tertiary education institutions who would be adversely affected during the transition.
Together with CHED, the DOLE will also implement a five-year Adjustment Measures Program for K-12, with a budget of P1.1 billion. “This amount will be in place in our 2016 budget, the start of implementation of the senior high school component of the K-12,” Baldoz said.
The DOLE Adjustment Measures Program (DOLE-AMP) is embodied in Department Order 85 Series of 2007, which was issued for the Prevention of Job Losses and Assistance to Displaced Workers.