Press Release
October 26, 2012


Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, PDP Laban President, has urged the establishment of "clearing houses" where employers can search for suitable employees and graduates/employees can look for available jobs.

Pimentel noted that the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics now publishes profiles of key industries with strong employment generation potential.

This, he said, can serve as a good lead, if not a good baseline, for information dissemination to both employers and jobseekers.

The government should also establish a labor market information system that would help students make career decisions, Pimentel said.

Pimentel underscored the need for higher education institutions to strengthen their career services offerings or programs through coaching, workshops, job matching, and setting up mandatory career services offices as part of CHED or TESDA accreditation.

The senator said the Commission on Higher Education should institute the necessary reforms to address the phenomenon of "jobs mismatch", or the misalignment of the supply of the education sector and the demand of the job market.

Pimentel lamented that out of the 39 licensure examinations conducted annually, there is a decreasing rate of board passers.

"The lower percentage of passers may reflect the large number of poor-performing schools. We do have a lingering issue between producing top-tier schools versus diploma mills. While our top-tier schools continue to do well on a general level, those schools and universities tagged as 'diploma mills' continue to linger, if not expand in number," Pimentel pointed out.

The lawmaker said Philippine higher education is plagued by several problems.

There are too many higher-education institutions and programs, Pimentel noted.

The quality of higher education has also deteriorated, he added.

The jobs mismatch, Pimentel said, "reflects a mismatch between the skills and other attributes of the labor force and those demanded by employers.

This would mean that the structurally unemployed worker will need retraining or further education to increase their chances of employment."

He cited a World Bank study in 2012 that made special mention of "a disconnect between the education system, government programs and private sector needs."

Pimentel suggested that government should continue long-term structural reforms by institutionalizing ways aimed at aligning the interests of industry, on one hand, and higher education, on the other.

Practical training should also be integrated into the curricula in higher education, as well as vocational and technical programs.

TESDA's Dual Training System, which aims to combine theoretical training through vocational instruction, and practical training through apprenticeships with industries, Pimentel said, is a good start for further reform work.

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