Firms, government to address job-skills mismatch


Voting 277 against three and zero abstention, the House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a bill that aims to reduce the number of jobless Filipinos by matching their education and skills to available job opportunities.

The approved measure, House Bill (HB) 7370, or “An Act creating a tripartite council to address unemployment, underemployment and the job-skills mismatch problem in the country, and appropriating funds therefor.”

The bill will be transmitted to the Senate for its own deliberations.

Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said the proposed law would benefit a lot of unemployed workers, college graduates, and students as the proposed council is tasked to help them match their skills and education with jobs currently available as well as future employment opportunities.

“Part of our unemployment problem is due to the fact that many of the new members of our labor force do not possess the competency employers are looking for. Their education and job requirements do not match. This is one of the problems we would like to address in approving the bill,” he said.

The envisioned tripartite council “shall be a coordinating body among the government, academe, and industry sectors to primarily monitor economic trends in the global and domestic markets, including those pertaining to business and commerce and the local market, and to generate information relative to employment, unemployment, underemployment, and job-skills mismatch.”

The government will be represented in the council by a commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), a deputy director general of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), an education undersecretary, a labor and employment undersecretary and an undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry.

The academe will be represented by presidents of the federations of public and private colleges and universities, public and private technical-vocational schools, and accreditation bodies of higher and technical-vocational educational institutions, including the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges, Association of Local Colleges and Universities, Coordinating Council of Private Educational Institutions, Technical-Vocational Schools and Associations of the Philippines, National Network of Quality Assurance Agencies, and Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines.

The presidents of Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), Makati Business Club, Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation, Inc., Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines, Philippine Business for Education, Management Association of the Philippines, Philippine Business for Social Progress, and People Management Association of the Philippines will represent the industry-business sector in the council.

The CHED commissioner sitting in the council will serve as its chairperson, with the TESDA deputy director general as vice chairperson. The council will be attached to the CHED for administrative and budgetary purposes.

Among the tri-sector body’s powers are to monitor trends in the domestic and international labor market, and the incidence of unemployment, underemployment, and job-skills mismatch in the country; and formulate policies, plans, and programs to address these problems.


To produce a steady supply of qualified, well-trained, and better equipped middle-level manpower who meet the skill requirements and demands of industries and employers, the House of Representatives also approved on third and final reading the bill institutionalizing an enterprise-based education and training program.

Voting 277 affirmative and 3 negative, lawmakers approved HB 7400 to rationalize the middle-level manpower training system and strengthen technical-vocational education and training (TVET) by consolidating apprenticeship, dual training, on-the-job training programs and all other forms of industry-based training arrangement and engaging the private sector.

The bill seeks to set enterprise-based training standards to ensure that the student trainees shall acquire the right competencies and their safety assured.


TESDA and ECOP recently forged an agreement that will address skills-job mismatch and unemployment in the country.

TESDA Director General Danilo P. Cruz said there is a need to intensify the push for greater industry involvement—from the prioritization of skills to competency standards development and curriculum development to implementation of training interventions, as well as job facilitation.

“We can advance Philippine TVET as we create a future-ready and globally competitive Filipino workforce together, let us actualize our goal of providing relevant, accessible, high quality, efficient technical education and skills development to the Filipinos and contribute to the country’s economic growth and prosperity,” Cruz said during the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr.

The MOA, which was signed last March 14, aims to provide for more strategic policy reforms in TVET that are aligned with industry requirements to address issues in the labor force.

The partnership will also intensify regular consultations and dialogues with employer and business membership organizations in the design, development, implementation, assessment, and evaluation of area-based and demand-driven technical education and skills development.

“I am confident that this partnership will be instrumental in contributing to employment and national development toward inclusive economic growth for the Filipino people,” Ortiz-Luis said.

Image credits: Bernard Testa