“Early 2015, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), through its Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Programme, has extended its proposal to the Philippines, through the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for a research collaboration on the review of the implementation of employment and skills policies," opened Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) Director Dominique Rubia-Tutay and continued, “Seeing the relevance of the research initiative to labor and employment policy and program development, the DOLE has responded its full commitment to the project.”

Dubbed Employment and Skills Study in the Philippines, the project aims to better understand the skills challenges, map the balance/imbalances between skills supply and demand within regions and local areas in the country. The main output of the project is an action plan with key findings and recommendations to provide guidance for policy and practice at the local level.

 One of DOLE’s strongest supporter in a few of its programs, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has also expressed its interest to join the research team by providing funding and logistical support during the study mission; organization of the national launch; and dissemination of the report.

 The OECD, together with the Peoples Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) as local consultancy firm for the project, has already commenced data gathering and exchange.

 “As initial input to the research, BLE has submitted region-disaggregated data on the country’s population, labor market, and economy, as well as relevant information on the organizational structures of the country’s almost Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs), technical-vocational training institutions, and labor market policies development process,” reported Ms. Ruth R. Rodriguez, Chief of the BLE-Labor Market Information, Research and career Guidance Advocacy Division (LMIRCGAD).

 The research team composed of Ms. Rodriguez and Ms. Kempee Royce M. Cruz of BLE, Mr. Jonathan Barr of OECD, and Ms. Sarah Niguas of PMAP, has conducted the first of a series of field studies for the project, in the identified key research subject Local Government Units (LGU) of Taguig, Cebu, and Davao Cities on 5,6, and 8 July 2016. During said visits, local roundtable discussions with key officials from local employment services, and training organizations, as well as some employers were held. Also made were courtesy calls to the local chief executive (LCE) representatives of concerned subject areas—Deputy City Administrator Jorge Bocobo of Taguig City, Assistant City Administrator Tristan Dwight Domingo of Davao City, and newly-elected Mayor Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City.

 National stakeholder consultations will follow in the coming months. In these activities, insights from sectoral groups such as academe, private sectors, and international organization, among others will be sought to validate the data and initial findings of the research.

 The initial findings of the study are targeted to be presented in the OECD event in the Philippines, Policy Forum on Private Sector Engagement in Skills and Employment Strategy, on 10 October 2016, back-to-back with the 8th Annual Experts’ of OECD Employment and Skills Strategies in Southeast Asia (ESSSA) meeting.

 Under the theme, “Bridging the Gap: The Private Sector’s Role in Skills Development and Employment”, the 8th ESSA Meeting will be hosted by the DOLE with OECD and the German Society for International Cooperation (also known as GIZ), through its Regional Cooperation Programme to Improve the Training of TVET Personnel (RECOTVET). The meeting is set to be held on 11-12 October 2016 in Cebu City.


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