Other than plain domestic work, there are 31 establishment-based occupations household service workers can perform, says Baldoz
Following through her call last June for Filipino overseas household service workers (HSWs) to slowly transform themselves from home-based workers to become establishment-based service workers, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday bared that the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), in cooperation with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), has identified 31 occupational qualifications that HSWs can transit to as alternatives to being a plain HSW.
The 31 occupational qualifications identified by the TESDA are spread over the tourism; information and communications technology; processed food; agriculture and forestry; health, social, and other community development services; garments; electronics; wholesale and retail trade; decorative craft; and automotive and land transport sectors.
Baldoz said the government, through the DOLE, has been continuously adopting reform policies during the last four years that will upgrade the skills of HSWs.
“We have prepared orientation courses on country-specific culture and language, protective mechanisms at the job sites, and many other reforms, such as obliging employers to shoulder the cost of deploying the domestic helper, and increasing the minimum salary to a level commensurate to their acquired competencies. Today, I also announce that the DOLE, through the TESDA, is starting its Assistance Package for Uplifting the Status of HSWs,” Baldoz said.
The assistance package is composed of four primary components: (1) Profiling and Study of HSWs; (2) Assessment and Certification and Training: (3) Tracking Monitoring and Evaluation: and (4) Job Facilitation. The TESDA will implement the project initially in Hong Kong and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
In the tourism sector, Baldoz said HSWs can become housekeepers, food and beverage workers, and bartenders, barista, bread and pastry production workers, and cookery workers. In the ICT sector, they can work to provide contact center services; and as medical coders and billers; and medical transcriptionists.
Household service workers can also transit to become workers in the food processing and fish packaging segment of the processed food sector
In agriculture and fishery, they can be employed in animal health care and management; organic agriculture production, animal production (ruminants, poultry, and swine); horticulture; and landscape installation and maintenance.
In health, social, and other community development services, they can become nail care services providers, hairdressers, and photographers. In the garment sector, HSWs can become dressmakers, fashion designers, and tailors. In the electronics sector, HSWs can be employed as electronics products assemblers and service providers; computer services providers; and mechatronics services workers.
They can also work as customer service providers in wholesale and retail trade as workers in jewelry production.
Lastly, they can work as drivers and process inspectors in the automotive and land
“We are slowly but surely laying down the ground for a paradigm shift that will improve the lot of the hundreds of thousands of domestic workers here in the Philippines and abroad by making available these 31 occupational qualifications,” said Baldoz.
“The reforms we have laid down during the past four years makes me confident we are ready for this transition,” she added.
Baldoz said the TESDA will conduct onsite competency assessment and certification services onsite in Hong Kong and soon in Dubai in the UAE and is studying modes of financing the further training of kasambahay and HSW for overseas deployment, including considering the Training for Work Scholarship Program to assist HSWs and kasambahay who are willing to undergo training, and higher certification–NC III and NC IV–for HSWs with upgraded skills.
NC II-certification assures an employer of competent and quality domestic services. At the same time, it assures HSWs better compensation.
At present, the TESDA certification for Domestic Work NC II totals 20 hours of basic training; 40 hours of common training; and 158 hours of training on core competencies. It also requires 486 hours of training on elective course.
If a domestic worker opts to move to one of the 31 occupations, like landscape installation and maintenance, for example, she would need to train 12 hours on plant installation, in addition to the 12 hours she or he may have trained on trimming and pruning landscape plants if he or she took it as an elective in training for her or his NC II, Baldoz explained.
“The idea is for the domestic worker to get out of a home-based work, he or she may need only to train on the skills set needed in an alternative occupation,” she said.