Metro Manila, Philippines—The Department of Labor and Employment – National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) conducted a two-day Regional Career Advocacy Congress (RCAC) at the Swiss-Belhotel Blulane, Tomas Mapua St., Sta Cruz, Manila on September 27 and 28, 2022.

Said program was attended by 51 participants mostly composed of guidance counselors, career advocates, and other teachers.

In her message, DOLE-NCR Regional Director, Atty. Sarah Buena S. Mirasol highlighted the importance of aligned educational career choices with regard to students’ future success.

“Empowering the youth generation in making informed educational and occupational choice is one of the priorities of the Department of Labor and Employment through its Career Guidance and Advocacy Program. Such endeavor is continuously intensified and are made possible because of our constant collaboration with you, our dedicated guidance counselors and career advocates,” she said.

Also, she mentioned how this career advocacy program will aid today’s students’ concerns about the education-job mismatch problem.

“These days, the career guidance has become more of an essential tool for policymakers to tackle the challenges facing the labor market in the post-pandemic world. That being said, we need to know the government’s various priority programs and courses for students that are aligned with the new normal.”

The initiative of the DOLE-NCR team, facilitated by Senior Labor and Employment Officer and Career Guidance Advocacy Program focal, Mr. Ryan Roberto E. Delos Reyes, aims to equip learners and young jobseekers in making the right decision to choose accurate educational courses in securing better jobs.

“We are dealing of Filipino youth, we need to educate not just yourself but the next generation, and that’s what we are doing right now. Providing relevant labor market information with a hope of you cascading it to our stakeholders, the future of the Filipino workers,” he said.

The following part of the event tackled about DOLE’s different programs that they can offer to support the students to continue their education in college. One of which is the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) that aims to help beneficiaries in their financial needs in exchange of their labor. It was discussed by the program focal, Labor and Employment Officer II Alma DL. Abejero.

Moreover, the JobStart Philippines Program and Government Internship Program (GIP) focal, Labor and Employment Officer III Leila R. Legayo explained how these programs serve as training ground when they enter the real world of work and help the students build their employment skills and abilities.

The RCAC is a collaborative effort of DOLE-NCR in partnership with other government agencies, including the Department of Science and Technology – NCR, Commission on Higher Education – NCR, Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board – NCR, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority – NCR. They also shared their expertise and services that they can offer to the youth.

Further, the conduct of RCAC will give ideas to the network of guidance counselors in helping the students align the program that they will be taking in college. This will nurture their potential skills and competencies, especially now with the occurrence of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 (R.A No. 10533) that will help them holistically in their future careers.

END / Report and photos by Mark Louie Conde