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POLO clarifies training requirements for new or returning migrant workers

30 September 2018

Filipino domestic workers with a valid “National Certificate in Household Services” (NCII) need not pay for training again as long as they have worked abroad for at least 24 months.

According to Labor Attache Nida Romulo, qualified holders of the five-year NCII can just exchange it for the new “Domestic Work NCII” to be exempt from the training requirement.

Romulo clarified the rules through a memorandum posted on the Facebook page of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office Hong Kong. This was in response to a number of complaints from workers against employment agencies back home who require them to pay for costly training again, even if their NCII certificates are still valid.

One recent returnee said she was required by her Philippine agency which she named as Concorde, to undergo training in a designated center even after she showed her still valid Household Services NCII.

The worker said the agency told her the certificate was no longer valid and that she must train again so she could return to Hong Kong. She was reportedly charged Php18,000 but ended up watching videos with her group, instead of getting actual training.

Another worker who was sent to the same training center by a different agency said she was charged PhP30,000 for the training.

Workers who commented on the POLO’s post regarding the Domestic Work NCII were all against it. They claimed that it merely allowed agencies to charge them huge fees without providing them the skills they needed for their jobs.

The Domestic Work NCII was put in place in 2015 by the Technical Education and Skills Development Administration (TESDA) which mandates re-training for former overseas Filipino workers who apply to work overseas again.

Except for the change in name, the DW NC II is exactly the same as the HS NCII. Both confers a certificate to those with proven competency in house cleaning, washing and ironing of clothes and the preparation of meals and drinks.

The training and assessment for this qualification are offered by TESDA regional training centers, but accredited private sector operators are also allowed to offer the screening, without regulating the services they offer and fees they charge.

Recruitment agencies in the Philippines reportedly charge OFWs between PhP12,000 and PhP30,000 for the DW NCII. But not a few workers complain about not getting any re-training at all, while some say that they were taught Russian table setting, which was useless for their work in Hong Kong. – Vir B. Lumicao

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