From the Department of Labor and Employment

Secretary of Labor and Employment Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz has urged her fellow labor ministers attending the 23rd ASEAN Labour Ministers Meeting (ALMM) in Myanmar to give high importance to the results of the review of the 2010-2015 ASEAN Labor Ministers’ Work Program, saying there is a need for ALMM to consider favorably the recommendation that the post-2015 agenda should link the traditional areas of labor administration to decent work for all.

In her ministerial statement at the ALMM attended by top officials of Republic of Union of Myanmar, the ASEAN Labour Ministers, senior labor officials, and officials of the ASEAN Secretariat, Baldoz said:

“We need to consider the recommendation that the post-2015 agenda should link the traditional areas of labor administration, such as social protection, youth employment, occupational safety and health, and capacity building for labor inspectors, to decent work for all, green jobs, intensification of labor mobility through the promotion of mutual skills recognition at national and regional levels, and migrant workers’ protection.”

Zeroing in on labor mobility, Baldoz noted that the ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework (AQRF) has been finalized and submitted to the Senior Economic Officials’ Meeting (SEOM) and ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting for endorsement by the leaders at the 25th ASEAN Summit this coming November.

“The AQRF, identified as one of the deliverables in the AEC 2014, has been finalized by the Task Force chaired by the Philippines. It is an important foundational piece of the ASEAN community-building process,” said Baldoz.

She encouraged her fellow labor ministers to endorse the AQRF and make it a positive influence in the enhancement and implementation of national qualifications frameworks.

“It will provide confidence, assurance, and transparency that nationally-recognized qualifications are of high quality and internationally-benchmarked. The ALMM endorsement of the AQRF will enable us to start the critical step of pre-referencing the national qualifications framework through pilot-testing the ASEAN framework,” she stated.

The ARQF is a common referencing framework that shall serve as a translation device in interpreting the national qualifications frameworks of the countries in the ASEAN region. Its ultimate goal is to promote competitiveness among professionals, workers, and learners in the domestic and global market. It emphasizes quality assurance in education, skills, training, and specializations to gain the mutual trust and confidence of the industry sector.

On the part of the Philippines, Baldoz said it has adopted a Philippines Qualifications Framework (PQF) through the re-design of the country’s basic educational system. This system adds two more years of learning–a past deficiency–gives emphasis on job-readiness, and removes the bias against technical-vocational education.

“We have shifted the focus of competency-based training from purely skills development to knowledge- and innovation-based learning. We have also adopted industry-driven, enterprise-based, and community-centered systems in skills development. And we are reviewing our skills training regulations and higher education curriculum consistent with the AQRF Learning Outcomes, Quality Assurance, and Lifelong Learning pronicples,” Baldoz explained.

The PQF is a unified, seamless, and borderless education and training system that weaves together basic education, technical-vocational education, and higher education into one coherent, quality-assured instrument for classifying qualifications according to a set of criteria for levels of learning outcomes. It is one of four convergent programs designed by the government’s Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cluster to address the issue on jobs and skills mismatch. The other three are the K-12 Educational Reform, Career Guidance Advocacy Program, and Optimizing the Use of PhilJob.Net.

It was developed to establish a coherent national and internationally- benchmarked structure for all qualifications awarded in the Philippines. All qualifications listed on the framework are quality assured so that there may be national and international confidence not only in the academic and skill standards and their vocational relevance, but also in the quality of teaching, assessment, and the valid awarding of the officially-recognized Philippine national qualification.

dole.gov.ph