Teachers overseas urged to return to Philippines

THE government is reiterating its interest to bring back OFWs to the Philippines, especially teachers.

Dexter Paro, the regional coordinator of the National Reintegration Center for Overseas Filipino Workers (NRCO), said the government, through the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), has reserved 300 regular Teacher 1 positions to LET passer OFWs who want to continue their teaching profession in the country.

Through the convergence program “Sa Pinas, Ikaw and Ma’am/Sir”, which started in 2014, Paro said OFW LET-passers, whether they have teaching experience or not, are in a more advantageous position than their counterparts in the Philippines because they no longer have to follow the DepEd ranking system.

Under the traditional hiring process, teacher applicants have to be assessed based on factors such as their education or academic achievement, teaching experience, special training or skills, interview, demonstration teaching and communication skills.

u201cNaa man gud usahay teachers sila diri, pero nag domestic helper sila sa gawas. Kasagaran sa Hong Kong (There are some who are teachers here but work as domestic helpers abroad, most of them in Hong Kong),” Paro said during a press conference yesterday at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) 7 office.

With this program, the government aims to gain back the Filipino workers overseas, particularly the teachers, and reverse out migration by enhancing their skills and providing them with the option to stay in the Philippines to work as teachers.

To date, Paro said 190 positions have been filled. This means, there are 110 more OFW teachers needed.

OFW LET-passers are required to take an online refresher course crafted by the Philippine National University. However, the applicant first has to visit the nearest DOLE regional office or fill out an online application form.

Dole-NRCO has also invited seafarers and their families to attend the Visayas leg of the NRCO AND Integrated Seafarers of the Philippines’ Business Plan Competition on July 28 at the Hotel Elizabeth.

The competition, with a P500,000 prize at stake, is open to active seafarers, preferably those who are planning to retire from sea life and interested to venture into entrepreneurship. Inactive seafarers, or those who have been in the Philippines for not more than five years, can also join the competition.

Interested seafarers may join in solo, in pairs, or in groups. The business should be a startup, with agribusiness strongly encouraged as a business plan idea.

Submission of business proposals opened on June 22 with a deadline on Aug. 19. Paro said 70 seafarers from the Visayas have pre-registered for the contest.

This is the second year of the competition. Last year, the winner was a seafarer from Batangas who submitted a seaweed business proposal. Top 10 contenders were also given P50,000 each and were continuously mentored by government agencies in order to help them materialize their proposals.

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