Competency competitiveness of the Filipino labor force will soon be enhanced as the House approved on second reading the Tulong-Trabaho Act.

The proposed “Tulong-Trabaho Act” as embodied in House Bill 8139 and principally authored by Rep. Alfred Vargas (5th District, Quezon City), seeks to strengthen the qualification of the nation’s workforce to meet the challenges of the rapidly evolving workplaces and work structures.

The measure aims to institute a Philippine Labor Force Competency Competitiveness Program and free access to technical-vocational education and training (TVET).

It also aims to provide for more innovative approaches to TVET linked to industry requirements as well as facilitate access to quality TVET.

Tulong-Trabaho bill aims to institute a Philippine Labor Force Competency Competitiveness Program and free access to technical-vocational education and training.

Moreover, the measure seeks to encourage the participation of industry and communities in competencies formation and upgrading towards a more competitive workforce.

It seeks to establish the Labor Force Competency Competitiveness Program, which shall be funded by the Tulong-Trabaho Fund.

The fund shall provide qualified recipients with access to TVET programs under selected training programs (STPs) through the full payment of the STPs’ training fees as well as additional financial assistance such as transportation allowance and laboratory fees as needed.

Costs incurred in undergoing assessment and certification, issuance of national certificates and other documents, administrative and all other procedures required for the completion of school-based, center-based, community-based, or enterprise-based programs of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) shall also be free of charge to qualified recipients.

The fund shall be made available to any person who are at least 15 years of age, who is no longer in school, and does not have a regular job or is not undergoing any form of training for a particular job. This includes out-of-school youth, unemployed adults, and those intending to work in the emerging sectors.

Part-time or underemployed workers who intend to develop and expand their current skills and technical-vocational training may also qualify for the fund, provided that existing workers in enterprise-based companies or industries are excluded from the coverage of the bill.

Part-time or underemployed workers who intend to develop and expand their current skills and technical-vocational training may also qualify.

TESDA meanwhile is tasked with the management of the Tulong-Trabaho Fund and ensuring that only qualified recipients are appropriately trained and their competencies are regularly updated.

TESDA is further mandated to periodically evaluate schools and training centers that receive assistance from the fund. Recipient-institutions must ensure that at least 70 percent of the fund beneficiaries are able to pass the Philippine TVET Competency Assessment and Certification System.

In addition, TESDA will also approve the final list of STPs eligible to receive funding. Considerations for eligibility of STPs include the latest issuances of Labor Market Intelligence Reports; quantitative and qualitative data on employment opportunities to be provided by the Department of Labor and Employment; the Human Resource Development Roadmaps; and other quantitative and qualitative studies to be determined as necessary by the TESDA.

A Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Tulong-Trabaho shall be created to monitor and review the implementation of the Act.

It shall be composed of three members each from the House Committees on Higher and Technical Education as well as Labor and Employment, to be appointed by the House Speaker. The Senate President shall likewise appoint members from the Senate Committees on Education, Arts and Culture and Labor and Employment.

 

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