Wanted: Occupational Licensed Professionals

Article excerpt

The expense of college education has dramatically increased over the years. A four-year degree course costs around P40,000 to P100,000 per semester, making it more difficult for parents to pay for their children's higher education.

This is one of the main reasons why the appeal of technical-vocational courses is quickly growing. After all, the demand for skilled workers is also on the rise.

In fact according to the April 2012 labor force survey by the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics, of the 40.644 million-strong Filipino labor force, 19.457 million or 51.4 percent belong to the industry and services sector.

However, a two-year certificate course does not guarantee a high salary and a respect similar to professionals who finish degree courses.

This is what beauty specialist Tony Galvez of the Tony Galvez School of Cosmetology wants to change, as he works towards an occupational licensing program not only for cosmetologists but for all vocational courses as well.

"Dito kasi sa Pilipinas, ang treatment sa vocational courses mababa. Ako product ako ng vocational, and up to now it's still the profession that I practice. My advocacy is occupational licensing of cosmetology at iba pang mga vocational courses na nasa TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority)," Galvez explains.

As a board director of the Technical Vocational Schools Association of Quezon City, Galvez has already proposed the Occupational Licensing Act to the government. In fact, Malacanang has already acted on it and TESDA and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) are in the process of studying the proposal.

THE BENEFITS OF A PROFESSIONAL

The goal of occupational licensing is to make sure that graduates of two-year vocational courses are more than capable of fulfilling their jobs. It also assures the health and safety of the consumers and more importantly, it gives graduates a competitive edge globally.

"Ang certification title control, binibigay ng kahit na sino. Ang licensing practice control, ibig sabihin niyan, nasasala ang graduates at napoprotektahan ang health and safety ng mga customers at consumers," Galvez shares.

This means that graduates of vocational courses must also take board examinations. It would also entail changing curriculum. …