Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday welcomed the new officers of the National Federation of Career Guidance Advocates of the Phillippines (NFCGAP) and as challenged them to “continue their dedication and aim higher to further strengthen career guidance, employment generation, and overall competitiveness among youth.”

Baldoz issued the challenge shortly after she administered the oath to the new officers at a ceremony during the National Human Resource Summit held on 17 December at the Century Park Hotel, Manila.

“The role of career guidance advocates cannot be underestimated. It because of your work that students—our future workforce—are made armed and ready. And being the pioneer group of officers on career guidance in the country, expectations have been set on a higher bar,” Baldoz said.

“I know this means more work for all of us, but we have to remember to place the public above self. We cannot separate ourselves from the public, especially the youth, whom we vow to serve,” she added.

The NFCGAP was organized on 13 September 2013 at the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC), during the 1st Capacity-Building Seminar Workshop for Registered Guidance Counselors and Career Advocates organized by the DOLE’s Bureau of Local Employment and the Professional Regulation Commission.

The overall aim of the creation of the NFCGAP is to oversee all the activities of regional networks of guidance counselors which the DOLE has been carrying out since 2008.

To date, there are more than 80 networks of guidance counselors with about 3,000 members across 16 regions in the country.

Baldoz, expressing confidence that the organization will support the advocacies of the department and continue to foster an environment beneficial for students and young jobseekers, welcomed the leadership of Dr. Bonifacio N. Mercado, from Region 7, as the NFCGAP President.

Aside from Mercado, the labor and employment chief inducted into office Ermah Shiela Roble, Region 9—Executive Vice-President; Wilfredo Mina, Cordillera Administrative Region—Vice President of Luzon; Perfecto Anquillo, Region 8—Vice-President for Visayas; Rosemarie Banquerido, Region 12—Vice-President for Mindanao; Noemi Soliven, Region 2—Secretary; Ester Mojica, Region 10—Treasurer; Ferdie Colliflores, Region 4A—Auditor; Oscar Linga, Region 4B—Public Information Officer.

Bringing in synergized support to group is its Board of Trustees with the following members: Elisa Suarez, Region 11; Melita Loida Catungal, Region 1; Jocelyn Balcos, Region 3; Priscila de Guzman, National Capital Region; Maria Lucy Muralla, CARAGA; and Franklin Arcilla, Region 5.

“Career Advocates play an important role in molding and guiding the youth towards right career decisions. Career guidance counseling is more than just enabling individuals to make rational choices. It is a helping profession,” she said to the newly sworn officers.

“There is more that needs to be done; and we, the DOLE and the rest of our partners in this job-skills matching endeavor, pledge to aid you in providing an environment that favors the thousands of our young people confidently looking forward to a productive job that they feel would be theirs,” Baldoz finally said.

The efforts of DOLE in addressing jobs and skills mismatch is in-line with President Benigno S. Aquino III’s 22-point labor and employment agenda, whose overarching goal is to invest in the country’s human resource to make them more competitive and employable.

END/hjtg

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