Some 140 participants, composed of officials and representatives of the government, employers and workers’ groups, technical vocational institutions, financial institutions, international organizations, and media entities, attended the Green TVET Forum and Strategic Planning on Greening the TVET System last March 6-8, 2018 at the Bayleaf Intramuros Hotel in Manila.
Jointly organized by TESDA and International Labor Organization (ILO), the 3-day event aimed to facilitate the gradual “greening” of the Philippine technical vocational education and TVET system, and how it can better contribute to achieving a low-carbon economy and climate-resilient society.
The participants discussed ways on how to instill among stakeholders a deepened appreciation of the concept of “green” TVET and the skills requirements in greening the sectors and the economy. The event also produced inputs towards developing the strategic plan in greening the TVET system, including the operationalization of the TESDA Green Technology Center in Taguig City.
Using the disastrous experience of the country during Typhoon Yolanda as an example, TESDA Director General, Secretary Guiling “Gene” A. Mamondiong, in his remarks said, “We have to get our acts together and do something to promote environmental protection, sustain biodiversity, and minimize, if not prevent, environmental degradation.”
“We cannot over-emphasize that TVET, indeed, plays a very important role in transforming our economy into a low carbon economy or green economy, especially that sustainable development is an essential issue in pursuing a forward-looking TVET, and green skills are an integral part of vocational competence,” added the TESDA head.
Khalid Hassan, Director of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines, in his opening message concurred with Mamondiong’s position and added, “Globally, we are seeing that skills shortages are already hindering the transition to a green economy. Skills development, therefore, plays a crucial role to enable the shift to a greener economy and ensure that this results to a just transition that creates decent jobs and leaves no one behind.”
Experts and authorities on the subject from several organizations such as the Climate Change Commission, ILO, Department of Labor and Employment, University of the Philippines, UNESCO-UNEVOC, and Eoil and Gas Co. Inc. also provided presentations as precursors to the open forums and workshops that were conducted during the event.
To move the green transition forward, the Philippines already has formulated policies regarding the environment and decent work standards in place, the most recent of which includes the Philippine Green Jobs Act of 2016 (RA 10771) and its offshoot, the National Green Jobs Human Resource Development Plan. The Green Jobs Act encourages business enterprises to generate and sustain green jobs by providing special tax deductions and duty free importation of capital equipment used in the promotion of green jobs.
The current challenge is to implement national greening policies and ensure the greening of the economy in sectors, such as industry, agriculture, and service. Implementation should aim at ultimately reducing the temperature by 1.5 to 2 degrees, but this requires capacity building and financing. Implementation requires guidelines regarding access to the incentives through banks and financial institutions like the Land Bank of the Philippines and Asian Development Bank.
The participants of the Forum specified three pivotal elements in greening the TVET system: the TVET campus; TESDA’s Training Regulations and TVET curricula, and learning materials; and, institutional culture. Developed action plans included strategies such as: participating in social dialogues with industry partners and other stakeholders;
establishing incentive mechanisms; providing capacity building programs for organic and external partners; conducting research and labor market surveys; and, strengthening social marketing and advocacy to address lack of awareness.