In pursuit of decent work for HSWs
TESDA to conduct onsite assessment and certification for domestic workers in HK, Dubai; other destinations of HSWs to follow
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday announced that the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), in cooperation with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs), as well as with other DOLE offices, namely, the International Labor Affairs Bureau and the Institute for Labor Studies, will conduct onsite assessment and certification of household service workers, or domestic workers to enable them to veer away from plain domestic work and transit to establishment-based occupations outside the home with prospects of higher income.
“Secretary Joel Villanueva, TESDA Director General, has already approved the project, Assistance Package for Uplifting the Status of HSWs,” with the general objective of supporting our goal of bringing Filipino domestic workers out of low-skilled, low-paying, and often-oppressive household service work,” Baldoz said.
“Our aim is to assist them eventually to land in higher-skilled, better-paying, and decent work,” she added.
The project is part of Secretary Baldoz’s reforms in the household service sector which she started when she was the administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.
“This reform involves assessing the current knowledge and skills of domestic workers in related or alternative qualifications or jobs,” said Baldoz, who also bared that the TESDA has already identified 31 occupational qualifications which domestic workers can choose in 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.
The project also seeks to assist domestic workers in acquiring the necessary competency certification and provide interventions that are necessary, such as skills training, scholarships, job facilitation, entrepreneurship opportunities, and other training and employment services.
The assistance package under the project 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, but other destinations of HSWs are also in the pipeline.
Baldoz said the TESDA, ILS, OWWA, and POLOs shall cooperate in the profiling and information system component of the project, while the ILS will do the study of the profiles of the domestic workers.
The TESDA will also conduct the assessment and certification onsite, based on the Philippine Competency Standards and Assessment Tools and through accredited competency assessors who will be sent to the POLOs.
“To this end, the TESDA will accredit an onsite center, to be supervised by the POLO and provided technical supervision by the TESDA. It will also issue the National Certificates/Certificates of Competency which the POLOs shall award or distribute. After the assessment and certification, the TESDA will upload on its website the names and particulars of the certified domestic workers,” Baldoz explained.
Baldoz further said that the concerned DOLE agencies are already in the thick of preparation for the onsite assessment in Hong Kong and Dubai, with the selection and deployment of assessors expected to be completed in September.
“The good news is that the TESDA and the POLO will also identify, select, and accredit assessors from among the OFW community in the destination-country. Our target is that by October, we would have conducted the assessment and issued the certificates by December. After this, job facilitation activities, including training, if necessary, will commence and continue,” Baldoz said.
According to Baldoz, 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. The Assistance Package for Uplifting the Status of HSWs,” is part of our continuing effort to provide decent work to our domestic workers,” she finally said.