GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/16 November) — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Region 12 urged colleges and universities in the region to avail of the government’s assistance program for personnel who were displaced due to the full implementation of the K to 12 education program.
Albert Gutib, DOLE-12 acting regional director, said Wednesday only one higher education institution or HEI employee in the entire region has so far availed of its transition assistance program.
He said they have already facilitated the provision of assistance for displaced HEI worker Joseph Bacsarpa, who is based in Kidapawan City.
The official said the current situation could mean that the region is “not totally affected” by the implementation of the K to 12.
“It is a good indication that only one HEI personnel availed of the K to 12 transition program. But still we encourage HEIs to report displacements to ensure that the affected workers will be properly assisted,” Gutib said.
Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato, and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
The region has a total of 92 colleges and universities, 87 of which are owned and operated by private groups, companies and individuals, based on records from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in Region 12.
DOLE-12 hosted a regional inter-agency roadshow here in line with the roll-out of the government’s K to 12 transition program.
The roadshow was joined by representatives from local colleges and universities, and regional program coordinators from CHED, Department of Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
The K to 12 program, which was fully implemented by DepEd last June, provided an additional two years to the country’s basic education program, delaying the entry of students to the tertiary or college level.
It covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education, comprising six years of primary education, four years of junior high school and two years of senior high school.
Gutib said DOLE, along with DepED, CHED and TESDA, have been tasked to address issued and concerns on the K to 12 transition.
He said these include job displacements and loss of employment benefits and instability in teaching and non-teaching personnel’s employment in the affected HEIs, and the perceived additional costs to parents for students in senior high school.
“Our interventions are mainly aimed to optimize employment retention, prevent displacement of faculty and non-academic personnel, and ensure the sustainability of the operations of private and public educational institutions,” he said.
Under its transition assistance program, he Gutib added that they could provide financial support, employment facilitation, training and provision of alternative livelihood to the affected HEI personnel. (MindaNews)