House moves to strengthen tech-voc education

The House committee on higher and technical education chaired by Rep. Ann Hofer (2nd District, Zamboanga Sibugay) approved House Bill 5483 which seeks to strengthen technical-vocational education and training (TVET) in the country.

This will be done by incorporating apprenticeship and dual training, recognizing the importance of continuous training of the unemployed, and expanding the provision of enterprise-based education and training.

Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy (Party-list, BAGONG HENERASYON), author of the bill, said statistics showed that the success of the TVET program lies when there is an active employer and TVET enrollee participation in on-and-off the job training.

Hence it is evident that the private sector plays a crucial role in skills development, she said.

Herrera-Dy said aligning TVET programs with the specific demand required by the employer is necessary to reduce incidence of skills shortages and increasing the skills development of the workforce.

Noting these developments and insights, I drafted this bill seeking to further involve the private sector in TVET programs, she said.

Herrera-Dy said the measure seeks to establish a national enterprise-based training system based on skills competencies through both on-the-job and off-the-job programs designed through a tripartite collaboration of employers, workers and the government.

It also seeks to establish enterprise development training standards to make sure that the trainees receive the right training and develop the proper skills and competencies as well as better ensuring the trainees' safety and protection of rights, she said.

Our economy depends to a greater degree on the number of jobs available to the citizens," she added.

Under the bill, Enterprise-Based Training Program means practical training with compulsory related theoretical instructions conducted on and off-the job involving an agreement between a trainee and an enterprise on an approved enterprise-based training qualification. The duration of the program shall be based on the complexity of the competencies to be learned in the specific qualification.

To qualify as an enterprise-based student/trainee, a person should at least be a high school graduate or its equivalent; possess vocational aptitude and capacity for enterprise-based training as established through appropriate testing; and possess the ability to comprehend and follow oral and written instructions.

An enterprise, group or association, industry organization, government or civic group wishing to organize an enterprise-based training program shall have its program registered with TESDA before it enters into an agreement with the trainees.

The proposed Act shall apply to all work-related or workplace-related to training regardless of the following seven modalities: apprenticeship; learnership; on the job training; practicum; work appreciation program; dual training system; and internship.

The bill calls for the establishment of the Enterprise-Based Education and Training Program Fund to defray the expenses of the trainees and other expenses related to the implementation of the enterprise-based training program.

The fund shall be derived from the following: one percent of passport fees collected from departing Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs); one-time fee paid by the graduates of the enterprise-based training program upon employment to be paid through the Social Security System (SSS); and donations, grants and endowments specifically for the enterprise-basic training programs.

Participating enterprises, groups or associations, industry organizations or civic groups participating in the enterprise-based training program shall be granted the following incentives:

a) An additional deduction from taxable income equivalent to 50 percent of the training expenses incurred provided that such expenses shall not exceed five percent of their total direct labor expenses but in no case exceed P25 million a year;

b) Donations, contributions, bequest, subsidy or final aid actually paid or made to a participating training institution within the taxable year shall also be deductible for income tax purposes in an amount not to exceed five percent of the taxable business income of the participating enterprise, group or association, industry organization or civic group computed without the benefit of deduction; and

c) Exemption from donor's tax, provided, however, that not more than 30 percent of said donations shall be used by the training institution for administration purposes.

Certified enterprise-based training graduates shall be exempted from the rules applicable to probationary employment. They shall be employed as regular workers if chosen to be retained by the participating enterprise, group or association, industry organization, government institution or civic group.

Source: House of Representatives

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