Baguio City – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is encouraging returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are licensed teachers to join the country’s public school system. Through its program, “Sa Pinas, Ikaw and Ma’am/Sir” (SPIMS), the DOLE gives qualified OFWs a chance to apply for a teaching post with the Department of Education (DEPED). The reintegration program is open to migrant workers who have returned in the last 3 years, and practiced the profession in the last 5 years. Those with less or no teaching experience would have to take an online refresher course.
The SPIMS Program is spearheaded by the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), an attached agency of the DOLE aims to respond to the need for employment reintegration of migrant workers who are planning to practice teaching profession in the Philippines in collaboration with the DEPED.
The NRCO Central Office oversees the implementation of the SPIMS program with the help of the following partner agencies namely Philippine Normal University (PNU), Department of Education (DEPED), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and other DOLE agencies: Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB), Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).
The implementation of the SPIMS Program as explained by DOLE-CAR OIC Regional Director Exequiel Ronie A. Guzman is to provide returning OFW-Licensure Examination for Teachers (OFW-LET) passers with gainful employment as public school teachers; mitigate the shortage of public school teachers in the country in line with K-12 implementation of DEPED; and encourage OFW-LET passers to further enhance their teaching skills by providing online refresher course to retain their teaching and pedagogic skills necessary with the demands of the present day educational practice consistent with the K-12 curriculum of DEPED.
Eligible applicants must be a Filipino citizen or a holder of a Philippine passport; must be an OFW-LET passer with accumulated teaching experience of at least one full year (12 months) for the last five (5) years and must not have stayed or resided in the Philippines for more than three (3) years based on the applicants latest date of arrival in the Philippines. The special conditions for the OFW-LET passer who passed the examinations within the last five years, regardless of his/her teaching experience, will no longer be required to undergo online refresher course and for the OFW-LET passer who has no teaching experience or with teaching experience but acquired more than five years ago, may still apply provided that he/she will undergo the online course provided by PNU or attend the regular refresher course.
For interested applicants, you can apply in two ways. An applicant may accomplish the SPIMS OFW Profile sheet form online at http://nrco.dole.gov.ph/index.php/spims and an applicant may visit the NRCO Central Office in Manila, any DOLE Regional Offices nationwide, or the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), if still abroad, to accomplish the SPIMS OFW Profile sheet form. The NRCO Central Office will conduct a preliminary evaluation and require the applicant to submit the following documents: copy of PRC ID, Certificate of Board Rating, copy of passport with pages of arrival and departure stamps, copy of Certificate of Employment abroad, and copy of Certificate of Employment as teacher if available.
The NRCO Central Office will endorse the profile to DEPED for SPIMS applicant with teaching experience for the last five years and applicant with bachelor’s degree who recently passed the LET for not more than five years will be endorsed to DEPED for final screening and evaluation while for SPIMS applicants with teaching experience beyond five years or with no teaching experience at all will be endorsed to PNU to undergo the required Online Refresher Course.
The program aims to gain back the Filipino workers overseas, particularly the OFW LET Passers and reverse out migration by enhancing their skills and providing them with the option to stay in the Philippines to work as teachers.
The government is looking at improving the existing reintegration programs for returning migrant workers. These include employment and livelihood training, and OFWs’ access to credit, and grant money to start their own business.
The Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA) has increased the grant awarded to beneficiaries of their Balik Pilipinas, Balik Hanap Buhay Program from P10,000 to P20,000.
It also has the Entrepreneurial and Development Livelihood Program with Land Bank of the Philippines. It provides P100,000 to P2 million loan with collateral requirement for those who want to establish businesses and the OWWA Livelihood Development Program for OFWs, a joint undertaking of OWWA and the National Livelihood Support Fund (NLSF). It provides entrepreneurial development services and credit facilities to OFWs, their families and organizations.
TESDA’s contribution to returning OFWs is to provide free skills training to returning Overseas Filipino Workers who worked in foreign countries affected by crisis or those who have problems with their employers abroad.
The DOLE Assist WELL (Welfare, Employment, Legal, Livelihood) national reintegration program is a package of assistance/services to address the welfare, employment, legal and livelihood needs of repatriated workers. The welfare assistance covers airport assistance, temporary shelter/accommodation, transportation assistance to residence, emergency medical assistance and stress de-briefing. The employment assistance covers job placement/referral for local and overseas employment, and competency assessment and certification for repatriated workers who wish to confirm whether they possess the competencies required in their preferred workplace. The legal assistance covers legal advice, conciliation proceedings, assistance in the preparation and filing of complaints, and counselling during preliminary investigations and hearings of criminal cases for illegal recruitment while the livelihood assistance covers entrepreneurial development and livelihood skills training, hand-on business mentoring and support, and business loan assistance.
For more information visit us @ www.nrco.gov.ph or www.dole.gov.ph / Patrick T Rillorta