Senator Joel Villanueva hailed the signing into law of a landmark legislation that seeks to institutionalize a national qualifications framework that can prepare Filipino workers for the global marketplace.

Republic Act 10968 or An Act Institutionalizing the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF) will ensure quality in our education and training systems, make qualifications earned here in the country recognizable in other countries, and enable employers to respect and value these qualifications.

Villanueva, author and sponsor of the recently enacted law, said that the measure is a dream come true for the Philippine education sector because it will greatly enhance the mobility of Filipinos in ASEAN and the world.

“This landmark legislation will pave the way for meaningful education reforms that will bring wider opportunities to every Filipino, especially international recognition and cross-country employability,” the legislator said.

The PQF incorporates an eight-level qualifications descriptors defined in terms of knowledge, skills and values, application, and degree of independence and sets the standards for qualification outcomes. Through harmonization and standardization, the PQF can help Filipinos moving from one country to another to work, or to continue their education or training.

“We have entered into the realm of global competitiveness, and issues of comparability of Filipino skilled workers and professionals working in different parts of the world have made it imperative to institutionalize the PQF. In the ASEAN region, we position ourselves as leader in the field of education and training,” the lawmaker said.

We have entered into the realm of global competitiveness, and issues of comparability of Filipino skilled workers and professionals working in different parts of the world have made it imperative to institutionalize the PQF.

The senator from Bulacan affirmed that the enactment of the PQF Law will boost the commitments of the Philippine Qualifications Framework National Coordinating Council (PQF-NCC) to the ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework (AQRF) Committee.

The AQRF is a common reference framework that enables comparisons of education qualifications across participating ASEAN Member States like the Philippines.

“Referencing the PQF to the AQRF will improve the mobility of over 10 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) scattered in nearly 170 countries, through increased recognition of the value and comparability of their qualifications. This will mean opportunities for continuous skills enhancement and, ultimately, more job opportunities for the Filipino workforce,” he said.

Villanueva also stated that in July this year, the PQF-NCC will submit a report to ASEAN to signify the relevance and competitiveness of qualifications given to Filipinos. “Hence, the signing of this new law will hasten the substantiation and implementation of the PQF,” he added.

The PQF-NCC has been working closely with experts and industrial sectors for the articulation of qualifications in terms of learning outcomes, development of pathways and equivalencies, quality assurance through effective systems of registration, assessment and certification, valuation of PQF as a powerful change agent being an instrument for critiquing current education and training practices and challenging professional and sectoral interests, among others.

With the passage of RA 10968, the PQF-NCC will have more teeth as a coordinating body. It will also expand the composition of the PQF-NCC with the addition of a representative from the economic sector.

Under the law, the PQF-NCC is composed of the heads of the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), and a representative from the economic sector.

Villanueva also stressed that the persistent critique of the mismatch between educational qualifications and the needs of industries kept up the drumbeat for the institutionalization of the PQF.

“The PQF provides a clear picture of the competencies that workers need for the jobs they want while employers can easily identify the competencies their employees must possess. Hence, it can seal the gap between educational institutions and the labor market,” he explained.

Additionally, training and educational institutions would now have to conform to standards and qualifications set by the PQF-NCC mandated to harmonize and promote a seamless education and training system in the country and ensure that qualification outcomes are relevant and nationally consistent, and meet the skills needs of the economy and the standards expected by industry and employers.

“We thank President Rodrigo Duterte, our colleagues in the Senate and counterparts in the House of Representatives for the enactment of this law. However, the PQF is a policy in progress and we need to continue raising awareness about the new law and ensure acceptance by stakeholders to the PQF – the blueprint of success of every Filipino,” Villanueva concluded.


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