In line with its Doing Business in Free Trade Areas (DBFTA) information campaign, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recently conducted a consultation and workshop with the education sector on the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF).
“Through this activity, we intend not just to develop and disseminate information on the features and components of the PQF but more importantly tackle the framework’s impact on education, industry, professionals, skilled labor and employers, and related issues,” DTI Undersecretary Ponciano C. Manalo, Jr. said.
The PQF is a national policy that describes the levels of educational qualifications and sets the standards for qualifications outcomes. The institutionalization of the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF) or Executive Order No. 83 Series of 2012 was signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III on October 1, 2012.
The activity was organized through the Bureau of Export Trade Promotion (BETP) and the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in partnership with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). It was also supported by the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Area Economic Cooperation Work Program (AANZFTA ECWP).
Participants included representatives of various institutions and organizations of the education sector, and officials of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
“To back the national and international mobility of workers through increased recognition of the value and comparability of the country’s qualifications, the PQF is aligned with international qualifications framework,” Manalo said.
During the activity, a comprehensive discussion on the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF) and the ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework (AQRF) was presented by Teresita R. Manzala, chairperson of the PRC. Manzala is also the chairperson of the ASEAN Task Force on the (National Qualifications) ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework.
The AQRF provides opportunities to open up large market for goods, skilled labor and professionals. It is a common reference framework that provides a device to enable comparisons of qualifications across participating ASEAN countries.
Manzala mentioned the importance of encouraging the development of national approaches to validating learning gained outside formal education and enabling comparisons of qualifications across member countries that will support recognition of qualifications. In doing this, the AQRF will be able to promote and encourage education, learner and worker mobility, and higher quality qualifications systems.
The ASEAN member states agreed that 2018 is target year for referencing national qualifications frameworks with the ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework.