Due to the unforeseen consequences of the pandemic, the 8th ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework (AQRF) Committee Meeting and Workshop was held virtually on 24 August 2020 with around 50 delegates from the ASEAN in attendance. Hosted by the Indonesian Government, the meeting discussed updates on the referencing efforts of member states, the education and training system of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand, the AQRF Committee Work Plan for the next five years, and upcoming initiatives related to the AQRF.

The Philippines was represented by the AQRF Committee Representatives and Focal Persons from the Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Commission on Higher Education, and Professional Regulations Commission. The agencies implement the country’s Qualifications Framework, aligning it to international frameworks, such as that of the ASEAN Member States, for recognition of the value and comparability of Filipino skills and ensure the mobility of Filipino workers and learners.

Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea, Philippine Representative to the AQRF Committee, presented the accomplishments of the Philippine Qualifications Framework – National Coordinating Council (PQF-NCC) particularly on the implementation of AQRF’s Criterion 11 on diplomas and certificates with reference to the AQRF levels. He also updated the Committee on the proposed involvement of qualifications-issuing government agencies in the implementation of the appropriate qualification system in the country, and the preparation of the Criterion 11 Action Plan in September 2020.

The Philippines also expressed its zeal to serve as the ASEAN-TVET Council’s inaugural Chair in 2021. The council is envisioned to serve as a multi-sectoral or cross-sectoral platform for coordination, research, and development innovations, and a monitoring body for programs that support the advancement of TVET in the region.

The next AQRFC meeting shall be held in the fourth quarter of 2020, in the pursuit of connectivity and comparability between technical and higher education institutions in the ASEAN region and the mobility of both graduates and professionals.

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