By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV on Wednesday urged his colleagues to expedite passage of the measure that seeks to establish job placement offices in public high schools and state universities and colleges (SUCs).
Aquino said Senate Bill No. 1278 or the proposed “Trabaho Center in Schools Act” may help provide livelihood for Filipinos who are reeling amid the high prices of food and other basic commodities.
The bill, which is now pending second reading, primarily aims to establish a job placement office in every public high school, college, and university in the country.
The primary aim of the measure is to help and properly guide students in choosing the career tracks that they intend to pursue and to aid in matching senior high school students with industry employment opportunities.
“Ang diploma hindi pwedeng nakasabit lang sa dingding, dapat nagiging trabaho (Diplomas should not just be dangling on the wall, it should translate to jobs),” said Aquino.
“Kailangan ang panukalang ito para makatulong sa pamilyang Pilipino na nalulunod sa taas presyo. Kailangan madagdagan ang budget ng pamilya na panggastos sa araw-araw, (We need this measure in able to help Filipino families who are drowning over the high prices. We need to augment the family’s everyday budget),” added the senator.
Aquino stressed that if the measure is passed into law, it will help address unemployment and underemployment, which currently stands at 2.36 million and 9.8 million Filipinos, respectively.
Under the measure, job placement offices (JPOs), to be called “Trabaho Centers” shall be established in all public high schools. These JPOs, will be in charge of providing industry matching, career counseling, and employment facilitation.
These JPOs would also be mandated to address the skills mismatch and ensure employability of students upon graduation by using feedback from employers to better develop the school’s curriculum and training programs.
The offices shall work closely with the provincial, city or municipal Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs) and shall be supervised by Trabaho Center coordinators in Department of Education (DepEd) division offices.
“The Trabaho Center is envisioned to be the institutionalized office in all senior high schools that are mandated to aid in facilitating employment for all Senior High School graduates,” Aquino said in the explanatory note of the measure.
Under the bill, all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Technical Vocational Institutions (TVIs) are encouraged to establish Trabaho Centers in their schools to prepare their students in choosing career tracks fit for their talents, skills, and preferences and in matching these to the needs of the current and future labor market.