Tech-Voc centers in the PH helping people leverage everyone’s skillset

The tech-voc education (technical-vocational education) is now one of the highly sought-after at this time, as it is encouraged by the private TVET institutions, but with the professional accreditation and proper licensing. Their aim is simply to be recognize the Philippines as the Tech-Voc Center in Asia.

This is also the reason why they are on the lookout for instructors with proven expertise in their fields to train local and foreign nationals who enrolled in the program.

With the technical-vocational institutes (TVIs) they will be able to produce highly-skilled graduates that are job-ready and globally competitive, especially in other countries that are looking for skilled workers, especially in highly industrialized countries like in Japan, Korea, and Singapore. These progressive countries teach their citizens to become productive, income-generating and contribute to the national coffers. They put emphasis on the quality of products and services and really invested in technical training.

These countries believe in the strength of their manpower and their role in the national economy.

“Philippine TVET ang pag-asa para sa kinabukasan ng mamamayan at ng bayan, kung maayos at maganda ang programa.” – Tony Galvez, technical and vocational education and training industry expert.

Noted for his strong advocacy of technical vocational professionalism for global competitiveness in the Philippines, Galvez also said: “Magagawa nating umangat at umasenso ang pamumuhay ng ating mahihirap na kababayan kung mabibigyan natin sila ng kahalagahan at maiaayos ang posisyon ng technical vocational education and training ng bansa. Hindi lang ang hangarin ay upang maging isang simpleng manggagawa. Kung hindi, tulungan natin silang linangin bilang mga tunay na eksperto sa iba’t-ibang larangan ng industriya upang ang lahat ay maging kapaki-pakinabang at mapabilang sa pandaigdigang kompetisyon na makapagpapalago ng ating ekonomiya.”

With the competition so competitive, the tech-voc education can also be a stepping stone to those looking for an opportunity to work in the technical field without relying on finishing a 4-5 year course. This is also a great way for degree holders to leverage their skills and to be highly sought-after in the industrial field.

A Need for Framework Revision

Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, CEO of Ayala Corporation, one of the country’s top corporations and a staunch advocate for the importance of technical skills in our society, once stated that a vocational or technical degree should be given a prominent position in our country’s educational framework. The curriculum should be wider and the accreditation status should be improved significantly so that it will produce young graduates with specific skills that match the market needs.

The DepEd and TESDA (Department of Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) is in charge for the education and skills development. But as the K-12 curriculum implemented, the tech-voc curriculum has yet to be resolved, as it has been overlapped with the programs implemented as the student reaches SHS/Senior High School.

Give TESDA Free Reign

With the programs overlapping, It is logical that TESDA needs to be a separate entity from DOLE, DTI, and DepEd. But it is given that TESDA needs to leverage their series of trainings to make them globally competitive. Skills assessment should be thorough and must meet globally-competitive criteria. And lastly, granting professional license to successful graduates would give them the recognition that would elevate their status from merely a tech-voc graduate into a professional practitioner of their chosen skill. Possessing a license gives graduates a sense of pride and achievement. Licensing should be the goal that each tech-voc graduate must aim for because acquiring a license would give them a right to demand a higher salary and compensation for their services. And most of all, they can be at par with the technical graduates of progressive countries. The licensure tests “is the final ‘quality control’ check before tech-voc graduates are allowed to practice a profession which depends on the lives of people or safety of buildings like carpenters, cosmetology and culinary graduates among many other service-oriented fields.


Licensure examination is but one wheel in the big cog of Philippine Qualifications Framework. The said framework supposedly sets multiple criteria that measures quality assurance principles and standards of the Filipino professional, technician and craftsman.

Performing this mandate and the current state of tech-voc in the Philippines, TESDA needs to do a much needed review of their services and offers. What could TESDA offer to their future enrollees to attract more of them in the future and in order for TESDA to be an effective arm of the government for manpower development?

Reshaping Tech-Voc

It is proposed that the tech-voc curriculum be two tracks: meaning the courses offered will be either service oriented or product oriented. These two classifications will serve different purposes and will be monitored differently as well.

Product-Oriented TracksProduct-Oriented Tracks
No pre-requisitePre-requisite: HS graduate
Only product quality controlCustomer and Practitioner’s Protection
Service
Do not require higher academic
achievement
Service-Oriented professions are
measure by quality of service thru
customer satisfaction
This is measured only through quality
control
It promotes respect, prestige and
protection to the client and also the
practitioner

Product-oriented tracks are designed in order to alleviate poverty and provide income-generating projects to barangay folks like stay-at-home moms, out-of-school youths, drug dependents, seniors/retirees, jobless folks, and surrenderees. Some of these product-oriented tracks are called cottage industries and can be done in the backyard or in a factory for SME. Some of these are:

Livelihood tracks aims to provide skills training to its target beneficiaries, to engage them in livelihood projects that are income generating.

The training package for this track must include:

Salesmanship/Entrepreneurship, managerial, marketing and bookkeeping. These livelihood trainings are best for barangays and provincial training through Barangay Kasanayan para sa kabuhayan at kapayapaan (BKKK) set by TESDA. TESDA will also provide for the necessary tools and materials as well as equipment for this skill training.


The Service Oriented Sector/Industry are the following:

Only by professionalizing all Service Oriented Tech-Voc Courses will uplift the image of techvoc students, graduates and practitioners in the country.

The above mentioned are all professional tracks and require a high school diploma as a basic requirement. Tech-voc service-oriented profession is not just a simple trade and all service-oriented tracks will be identified by specific specialization based on the industry qualification.

President Rodrigo expressed in one of his speeches, “Kaya ang Build, Build, Build, medyo atrasado ng konti. Walang trabahante. We are lacking in experts like in carpentry, in welding and other technical skills. We have a lot of jobless because they are not qualified even in vocational, especially construction.”

As of now, joblessness and lack of experts in vocational and technical skills is really a big concern, but if TESDA will be given free rein, TESDA can perform its main mandate faster and more efficiently. In the COVID-19 recovery phase, there are opportunities for smart investment in tech-voc education and training to “build back better” programs and systems. Tech-voc may be able to cater to students who dropped out during school closures and reskilling or upskilling those who have become unemployed. Tech-voc can also facilitate the development of skills necessary for the adjustment to structural changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Continued focus on ensuring acquisition and development of foundational cognitive and socioemotional skills, such as empathy and resilience, which have become increasingly valued in the current circumstances, will improve employability and other human development outcomes for tech-voc students. Moreover, investment in learning technology and digital skills of tech-voc instructors and students can ensure lifelong access to learning opportunities and future workforce adaptability.

A cycle of how a TVET graduate can be a big help in the economy


To conclude, if our TVETs follow global standards and are just competitive with that of our  asian neighbors, there will be fewer OFWs because TVET graduates can establish their own businesses and can get better paying jobs locally.

TESDA should be independent from other government agencies in terms of providing technical-vocational training and education. However, other agencies can complement because agencies like DepEd, help in the basic education of children, while DOLE and DTI give assistance in the employment and livelihood programs respectively.

Good, high-paying jobs await qualified tech-voc grads. If only they’re given proper incentives, multisectoral support and a supportive policy environment, the tech-voc track can also be a viable alternative for young Filipinos who wish to lead productive lives.

We may still have a long way toward strengthening our tech-voc ecosystem in the country, but with a little help and support from the government, industry and academe, we are making crucial inroads that lay the foundation for the future. As we promote tech-voc to the youth to undergo tech-voc training, we hope that tech-voc professionalism and licensing will soon be implemented as well.

And hopefully in the coming years and decades, the state of tech-voc education in the Philippines would further be improved so that when we ask Filipino children what they want to be when they grow up, we hope many of them will also answer that they would want to take the tech-voc path and become a carpenter, a forklift driver or a farming technician. And by then, these children would no longer be laughed at nor looked down with the career choices they’ve made.

Cristal is a freelance web developer and content creator. She currently enjoys her freedom while learning new things outside the comforts of the office confines. She enjoys writing her geek exploits, tech innovations and many more. Reach out to her via email at sailorstarcatcher@gmail.com for events and many more!

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