After the overwhelming support for the passage of the Affordable Higher Education for All Act, Sen. Bam Aquino hopes his measure seeking to expand and strengthen job placement offices in schools can get the same backing in the Senate.
“While we will strive to provide free, quality education to Filipinos, we should ensure this translates to jobs and job security, and the Trabaho Centers in Schools Act can help make this happen,” said Aquino, referring to his Senate Bill No. 1278 or Trabaho Centers in Schools Act.
The youthful senator has been defending the measure during interpellation before the Senate adjourned its session last March 15. The bill will be tackled anew when session resumes on May 2.
Before the Senate adjourned, it approved Senate Bill No. 1304 or the Affordable Higher Education for All Act via 18-0 vote on third and final reading. The former student council president was the principal sponsor and co-author of the measure.
In his sponsorship speech for Senate Bill No. 1278, Aquino said the bill will help address the problems of unemployment and underemployment by ensuing that suitable jobs await both high school and college graduates.
“By strengthen linkages between school and companies through the Trabaho Centers, we can lessen the number of unemployment and underemployment in the country,” said the solon.
By institutionalizing job placement offices in public schools and SUCs, Aquino said it will help create employment opportunities and address the prevalent jobs mismatch in the country by serving as bridge between the job market and supply of graduates.
Based on latest data from the Philippine Statistics Office, the country’s unemployment rate is 4.7 percent with over 2 million jobless Filipinos. The number of underemployed Filipinos is pegged at 7.51 million.
“Clearly, there is a need, not only to generate employment opportunities, but also to address the jobs mismatch in the country,” the legislator said.
The measure mandates the establishment of a Trabaho Center in every public high school and SUC with main services that include: 1) Industry Matching, 2) Career Counseling, and 3) Employment Facilitation.
The Trabaho Center must maintain an updated database of employers, contacts, and job opportunities in the locality and utilize this to provide students counseling on lucrative field of study and what specific jobs they can expect to apply for upon graduation.
The Trabaho Centers can address the skills mismatch by giving feedback for teaching modules and working with TESDA to better develop the skills of graduates and ensure employability upon graduation.