HONG KONG (Mabuhay) – Government officials are urging Filipinos working in households here to consider the possibility of going back home to fill up 40,000 vacancies for teaching and non-teaching personnel of the Department of Education.
In a recent forum held at the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong, Labor chief Rosalinda Baldoz said the government’s K to 12 program, which addresses the perceived two-year deficit in the Philippine educational system, will create new jobs for teachers and non-teachers in the Philippines.
“Ang amin lang po naman ay mabigyan kayo ng option… Kung ganitong may opportunities po, dapat po binibigay namin sa inyo ang detalye ng mga opportunities na puwede ninyong pag-aralan,” Baldoz said.
“Naisip ko po na sa tinagal-tagal po ng pagtigil dito whether as household workers or kung anuman po, baka po mas may mataas na skills sets na na-acquire kayo dito, at kung ma-assess po iyan at ma-certify, bibigyan din po kayo ng idea kung anong vertical at horizontal career path na puwedeng pag-aralan,” she added.
The Philippines has implemented the K to 12 program beginning with the universal kindergarten in school year 2011-2012, while Grade 11 or the start of the senior high school will be implemented in academic year 2016-2017.
Baldoz said that although career paths are choices of each individual, those working for big establishments or organizations enjoy more favorable conditions and benefits than those working in households.
For those who are interested of the program and who have passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers in the Philippines, all that is needed is to submit qualifying requirements.
She added that Filipinos who work in households in Hong Kong and other parts of the world and who would apply for the program would be given priority by the government.
“Napagkasunduan po namin ni [Education] Secretary Armin Luistro na kung may mag-qualify po sa mga nakapasa sa licensure examination na tinanggap ng PRC (Professional Regulatory Commission), especially the recent ones at willing sila to do some qualifying requirements, then priority po sila sa existing vacancies for this year. Hanggang 2016 po ang vacancies,” Baldoz said.
She said Education officials would soon be visiting Hong Kong and meet with the Filipino community to give more details about the program.
“Initial 1,300 vacancies”
Director Dominique Rubia-Tutay of the Philippines’ Bureau of Local Employment said that initially, there are 1,300 vacancies until December for Teacher 1 positions, whose basic salary is P18,549.
“The first offering is for Teacher 1, kasi po para maging teachers 2 and 3 ay kailangang ma-promote po muna kayo,” she said.
Besides the basic salary, public school teachers also receive various allowances and benefits such as PERA (Personnel Economic Relief Allowance), clothing allowance, year-end bonus, performance bonus, productivity bonus, and cash gift.
Teachers who are assigned to far-flung places are also given “hardship allowance”.
Rubia-Tutay also said teachers in the country enjoy summer and Christmas breaks with pay.
“If you have preferred locations to teach in, siyempre po ilalapit namin kayo kung saan kayo nakatira doon sa Pilipinas,” she said.
For LET passers who have not been teaching in the past five years, they must take 21 units of education courses again. Other documentary requirements will soon be posted on the government’s website.
Citing the findings of a survey of profile of Filipinos in Hong Kong, Rubia-Tutay said many are single, between 30 and 35 years old, and that mostly came from Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) and 6 (Western Visayas). Many of the Filipinos working in Hong Kong also have employment contracts that will end in 2015.
Baldoz said the best thing about coming home is that Filipinos would be with their families and able to care for their children, instead of raising kids of other families.
“Alam po ni Presidente (Benigno Aquino III) ito at sabi niya ‘maganda maipresenta ang lahat ng impormasyon at bigyan ng pagkakataon na pag-isipan ito’,” Baldoz said.
There are an estimated 180,000 Filipinos living and working Hong Kong, of which about 160,000 are domestic helpers. (MNS)