SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
THE House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a measure that seeks to strengthen the enterprise-based apprenticeship program and training to raise the level of skills and competencies of Filipino students and fill the labor and personnel demands of industries.
Voting 277 against three and zero abstentions, members of the lower house passed House Bill No. 7400, or the “Enterprise-Based Education and Training (EBET) Program Act,” which is also aimed at rationalizing the middle-level workers’ training system by consolidating apprenticeship, dual training, on-the-job training programs and all other forms of industry-based training arrangement.
“If this becomes law, this will certainly enrich the competencies and skills of our Filipino students and workers through hands-on training in enterprises or industries that will eventually hire them in the future. This is making sure that whatever skills these enterprises need, Filipino workers will possess them,” said Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez.
The measure, a consolidation of HB 1665 filed by Cagayan De Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and HD 2283 introduced by CIBAC Party List Rep. Eddie Villanueva, received a strong support from the chamber that 148 other lawmakers—including Majority Leader Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe and Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo---signed up as co-authors of the bill.
HB 7400’s main objective is to establish a competency-based and national enterprise-based training and education system for students aspiring to be middle-level workers, including “an off-and-on-the job training program and involving the active participation and cooperation of employers, workers, industry and the government.”
Enterprise-based education and training programs (EBET) strengthen the present apprenticeship program to include workplace-related training and education such as learnership, on-the-job training, practicum, work appreciation program, dual training system, internship, and in-company training.
Under the measure, these EBET programs will be implemented in the following manner: EBET by enterprises, which include apprenticeship, learnership, and in-company training; EBET by technical-vocational institutions (TVIs) and enterprises, which include dual training system, practicum, on-the-job training, internship, and supervised industry training; and EBET by government agencies, which include work appreciation program and government internship program.
HB 7400 also provides for the registration with TESDA of any enterprise, group or association, industry, organization, government institution, or civic group that intends to participate in the dual training system and organize an EBET program. Registration is required before a student-trainee starts actual training.
Also, an EBET agreement is required between the employer and student-trainee, which shall include the following terms: nature and purpose of training; training programs; period of training; training allowance equivalent to seventy-five percent (75%) of the existing minimum wage, paid in cash or in kind or both; schedule of training allowance payments; the process of termination of EBET; and general rights and obligations of both parties.
The measure also outlines the qualifications of EBET student-trainees, which are the following:
a) At least a senior high school graduate or its equivalent;
b) Possesses vocational aptitude and capacity as may be established through appropriate aptitude tests; and
c) Possesses the ability to comprehend and follow oral and written instructions.
“Certified EBET graduates shall be exempted from probationary employment in the event that they are employed in occupations requiring the same skills and qualification standards, which they shall have obtained upon passing the appropriate competency assessment,” the measure reads.
Tax exemptions are also granted for enterprises that will participate in the EBET programs.
“All grants, bequests, endowments, donations, and contributions made to and to be used actually, directly, and exclusively by the participating training institution shall be exempt from donor’s tax and the same shall be considered as allowable deduction from the gross income for purposes of computing the taxable income of the donor …” HB 7400 said.
“The importation of all new machineries and equipment used in the EBET Program shall be exempted from customs duties in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act No. 10863, otherwise known as the “Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.” (END)