Upskill Filipino workers

A highly skilled workforce is one that adheres to international standards.

For the past years, labor has been the country’s biggest and most reliable export that brings in billions of dollars to the Philippine economy every year, according to the Bureau of Investment.

As the world becomes more interconnected and interdependent, the Government Academe Industry Network pointed out the need to elevate Filipino talent and ensure that they maintain their competitive advantage on the global stage.

Monette Iturralde-Hamlin, president of GAIN, led the call for a meaningful collaboration among the key players and stakeholders to empower the mobilization of Filipino talent during the recent 6th GAIN National Convention at the AIM Conference Center — which focused on the theme “Internalization of Workforce: Global Talent Mobility through International Standards.”

“Things are changing so fast. We are making space for a more interconnected and interdependent world, and we need to make sure that Filipinos are prepared to get those jobs that they need to take care of their families and thrive,” she said in her opening remarks.

Dr. Jose Cueto Jr., commissioner of the Professional Regulation Commission, explained how the Philippine Qualifications Framework is used to measure skills of Filipino professionals to determine their level of knowledge, skills, and their ability to apply them in the real world.

The PQF, according to Cueto, is designed to support academic and worker mobility and to address mismatches on job skills. He also described how the Asean Qualifications Reference Framework can be used in comparison to the country’s own framework to determine how the skills of a Filipino professional measures up to professionals of other countries.

However, Cueto admitted that, “Not many organizations in the government, academe, and industry have the mastery of the PQF/AQRF qualifications.”

Meanwhile, a highly skilled workforce is one that adheres to international standards, said BOI governor Atty. Marjorie Ramos-Samaniego. “Trends are changing, and new industries developed will change the way we look at the workforce. Our goals and targets might change, but our objective will remain the same: to uplift the ideal that the Filipino workforce is the best in the world,” she added.

Compliance with international standards is non-negotiable in industries such as banking and healthcare, said Roderick Danao, chairman of PwC Philippines. He highlighted that with the banking and financial industry hinging on consumer trust, standards ensure that financial transactions are conducted fairly and efficiently.

The healthcare sector, meanwhile, is a “complex, dynamic sector driven by demographic changes, technological disruptions, and evolving healthcare needs,” according to Nora Terrado, CEO of Carelon Global Solutions. She noted that Filipinos have already set the standard for healthcare professionals abroad, citing the top performance of Filipino nurses in the US National Council Licensure Examination from 2022 to 2023.

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