So as to accelerate the government program to lure back OFWs who are licensed public school teachers, the labor department has released the implementing guidelines of the “Sa ‘Pinas, Ikaw ang Ma’am at Sir” (SPIMS) program.

Department Order No. 190, Series of 2018, provides detailed procedures as well as standards in the screening and selection of beneficiaries of the program, a brain-gain initiative that encourages teachers deployed overseas to practice their profession in the Philippines.

In issuing the guidelines, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the order aims to “ensure the continuity of the SPIMS Program and mitigate the shortage of public school teachers in the country.”

The convergence program started through a Memorandum of Cooperation among the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), and Philippine Normal University (PNU).

Since its inception, the program has provided a total of 1,421 plantilla positions for returning OFW-Licensure Examination for Teachers (OFW-LET) passers, a report from NRCO said.

To become eligible for the SPIMS program, an applicant must be a Filipino citizen or a holder of a Philippine passport; OFW-LET passer with accumulated teaching experience of at least one full year for the last five years; and must not have stayed or resided in the Philippines for more than three years.

An OFW-LET passer who passed the examinations within the last five years, regardless of his/her teaching experience, will no longer be required to undergo the online refresher course.

Meanwhile, an OFW-LET passer who has no teaching experience or with teaching experience but was acquired more than five years ago, must undergo the online course provided by PNU or attend the regular refresher course.

An interested applicant must accomplish the SPIMS OFW Profile Sheet Form online, or in person at the NRCO Central Office in Manila, at any DOLE Regional Offices nationwide, or at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO).

The NRCO Central Office will conduct a preliminary evaluation and require the applicant who passed the criteria to submit documents such as copies of PRC ID; Certificate of Board Rating; Passport; Certificate of Employment abroad; and Certificate of Employment as a teacher (if applicable).

Depending on their assessment, NRCO will endorse the profile of the applicant either to the DepEd, for final screening and evaluation, or to the PNU, for the required online refresher course.

Successful applicants will receive an official letter from DepEd instructing him/her to submit documentary requirements to the DepEd Division Office while waiting for the approval of the Notice of Organization Staffing and Compensation Action (NOSCA).

Once the SPIMS beneficiaries have started teaching in their respective school assignments, they will be provided with teaching kits which contain instructional materials, a tablet computer or mini laptop, and other school supplies and gadgets worth P20,000.

END/aldm

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