Press Release
October 30, 2009

To tap workers' skills and improve their standing in the labor pool

Senator Edgardo J. Angara today stressed the need to institutionalize an advanced studies development program in international schools for qualified employees of the government and private sector, which will provide a much-needed qualifications boost in the Filipino workforce.

"Many Filipinos have acquired advanced degrees and specialized training abroad through scholarships grants funded by local or foreign governments. These scholarships have produced a good number of high-level professionals in the country. More Filipinos should benefit from this kind of training. It will broaden their knowledge, skills set and professional outlook," said Angara, former President of the University of the Philippines.

Angara proposes that under the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) there be established a fellowship program for Filipinos employed in the government and the private sectors and those who are self-employed.

The program will form a consortium of fellowships, scholarships and training grants sponsored or extended by foreign governments and agencies and local agencies and organizations, public or private, for advanced studies in international centers of advanced learning, scholarship and research.

Angara who filed Senate Bill 907 aims to supply the country with highly trained leaders for industry, research and academe; a critical mass of elite professionals who shall take the lead in harnessing science, technology and related disciplines towards accelerating productivity in the domestic workforce.

Under the bill, professionals in the private and government sector aged 30-40 can undertake advanced studies and fellowships in any branch of science, technology or related fields to their expertise and experience. Upon embarking on their studies abroad, they will be entitled to such benefits:

o One year leave with pay, including allowances and other benefits;

o One economy round-trip air fare to and from the host country plus other travel expenses required for foreign travel;

o Clothing allowance;

o Monthly stipend while on study abroad;

o Allowance for books, instructional materials and research allowance; and

o Health, Travel and Insurance fees

Upon completion of studies or training, the fellow will be required to return to his job or in another capacity and serve on a full-time basis for a minimum period of time. In addition, the scholar will be required to hold seminars or training sessions for employees from the government and the private sectors on topics related to the course or training completed.

"Our goal is to motivate our employees to take on higher learning and return to the country so we can harness their skills and experiences for their benefit and for their country's benefit as well. At a larger scale, not only are they gaining personal and professional growth but also bringing in fresh insights for better productivity in the workplace," said Angara

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