Lapeña lauds endorsement of Philippines Referencing Report by the ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework Committee

May 27, 2019

The ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework (AQRF) Committee, in its 6th Meeting held in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR on May 22, 2019 has voted to endorse the Referencing Report of the Philippines to the ASEAN ministers of economy, education and labor. 

The referencing report is the document submitted by an ASEAN Member State (AMS) to describe their national education and training system, the roles and responsibilities of the key stakeholders as well as the procedures by which the qualifications are included in the national qualification framework. It also includes the standards and the mechanisms for quality assurance and how the levels of the national qualifications framework compare with the levels of the neutral levels and descriptors of the ASEAN Qualifications Framework. 

The Philippines responses to the 11- point referencing criteria will now be promoted in the ASEAN to provide trust and support the recognition of qualifications issued in the Philippines to facilitate student and worker mobility. The Philippine Referencing Report describes the Philippine Qualification Framework (PQF) hierarchy of levels and its descriptors which use learning outcomes as the metric for the hierarchy. Level descriptors provide a reference for aligning a group of learning outcomes and an education and training program to a qualification level. The qualifications covered by the PQF will be denoted as aligned to the AQRF referencing criteria and will facilitate recognition of the value of the credentials both for academic as well as employment purposes. 

Qualifications refer to formal certification, such as the National Certificate (NC) issued by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), that certifies a person has successfully achieved specific learning outcomes relevant to the identified academic, industry or community requirements. The qualifications issued under the national qualifications systems in the Philippines are publicly listed in the Philippine Qualification Register (PhQuaR) which is managed and maintained by TESDA. 

TESDA Director General Isidro Lapeña welcomed this development saying, "This is a milestone in the history of the Philippine education and training system. The Report puts premium on the transparency and trust of the ASEAN Member States in our education and training system and the quality assurance in the development, delivery and assessment of qualifications issued by the Philippines." 

Lapeña added that with this development, he is optimistic that there will be new and expanded direct investments in the Philippines considering that the competencies/qualifications of Filipino skilled professionals in particular, can now be facilitated thru the alignment process with the AQRF. 

The Philippine Referencing Report was submitted to the ASEAN Secretariat by the Philippine Qualifications Framework National Coordinating Council (PQF-NCC) chaired by Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones with Department of Labor and Employment Secretary, Silvestro Bello III, TESDA Director General Lapeña, Commission on Higher Education Chair J. Prospero De Vera III, and Professional Regulation Commission Chair Teofilo Pilando, Jr. as members. The Council appointed the National Referencing Committee which prepared the report in consultation with various stakeholders. 

The Malaysian Referencing Report was likewise endorsed by the AQRF Committee in the same meeting. Other AMS are in various stages of report writing, re-development and submission of referencing reports which are on the decision of each of the AMS. 

The endorsed reports will be published in the websites of the ASEAN and the websites of the relevant national ministries, departments and agencies. 

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