To boost the employability of senior high school graduates who took the technical-vocational-
livelihood (TVL) track, Senator Win Gatchalian is proposing that the government shoulder the cost of their certifications.
The Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education flagged what he called a dead end for senior high school graduates who took the TVL track. Gatchalian pointed out that graduates of the TVL track in senior high school are left on their own to find a testing center before receiving the National Certificate (NC) I or NC II, which could improve their chances of being hired.
For School Year (SY) 2019-2020, there were 486, 278 graduates of the TVL track in senior high school, 127,796 took the national certification, and 124,970 passed. While the passing rate among those who took the national certification is at 97.8%, the certification rate was equivalent to only 25.7% among TVL graduates for that school year.
The certification rate saw a sharp decline for SY 2020-2021 when there were 473,911 total TVL graduates, 32,965 took the national certification, and 31,993 or 97.1% passed the national certification. For this school year the certification rate was only 6.8%. According to the Department of Education (DepEd), the cost of certification which could amount up to P1,000 remains a hindrance to some learners.
During the hearing on the Batang Magaling Act (Senate Bill No. 2022), Gatchalian pointed out that the government can afford to pay for the cost of certifying the uncertified TVL graduates. It was revealed during the hearing that some P358 million is needed to certify the remaining TVL graduates from SY 2020-2021 who have yet to receive certifications. Gatchalian further emphasized that this is a small amount given the DepEd budget of more than P710 billion this school year.
“You give them hope, you give them a certification, and you give them a high probability of getting employed. My point of the matter is yung P358 million na na-compute natin is an investment, and it’s a good investment because if you look at the passing rate, it’s 97%. So why not spend that 358 million para makuha na nila yung certificate nila and pwede na silang magtrabaho?” said Gatchalian.
Gatchalian said that he will propose to include the cost of certifications for the next fiscal year’s national budget.