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Only college-level Filipino teachers wanted in China

16 February 2019

Philipine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago “Chito” Sto. Romana

By Daisy CL Mandap

Filipino teachers aspiring to work in China under a new deal signed with the Manila government will only be considered if they are qualified to teach at tertiary, or university level.

This is according to Philipine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago “Chito” Sto. Romana, when asked why the first requirement for Filipino applicants, as enumerated in the Nov. 8 agreement, is that “they must be employed by private higher education institutions in the Philippines.”

“The agreement is to teach at universities, not high schools,” said Ambassador Sto. Romana when asked for clarification in an online inquiry on Feb.

The news is likely to come as a blow to Filipino migrant workers qualified to teach only at elementary or high school level, as they had been looking forward to being considered for the China jobs.

Earlier reports said as many as 2,000 Filipino English teachers to be paid US$1,200 a month could be deployed to China as early as July last year. This was said to be an offshoot of an agreement signed on the sidelines of the Boao forum in Hainan last April, where President Rodrigo Duterte met with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

No mention was made then about the jobs being available only to college-level teachers.

What was only clear was that the hiring would be on a government-to-government basis,
meaning the applicants would not have to pay to qualify.

Despite the more restrictive requirements, the president of the National Organization of Professional Teachers in Hong Kong, Gemma A. Lauraya, welcomed the news.

“This is good, China opening its doors to teachers for employment,” she said. But she wanted to know if there was still a way for those currently working as migrant workers to apply for the jobs on offer.

Given the first requirement, however, it is not likely that migrant workers would qualify for the positions.

The other requirements are likely to further whittle down the chances of them qualifying: (2) must not be currently employed by public institutions in the Philippines; 3) must have a bachelor’s degree or above from normal universities or in education or English language from PH educational institutions accredited by PRC Ministry of Education; 4) must have a valid certificate of registration above intermediate level & professional license issued by the PH Board of Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers (PBLEPT); 5) has not been charged or convicted of any crime or administrative offense; 6) in good health; 7) has no mental disease or no record of drug addiction or excessive drinking, as certified by the applicant.

According to Ambassador Sto. Romana, the implementing guidelines approved on Nov. 8 last year only specified the requirements. The two sides will now have to jointly establish an online recruitment platform, where applicants can submit their applications.

Once the platform is set up, the Government Placement Branch for China under the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration will process the applications, and endorse a shortlist of pre-screened applicants to China’s State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs (SAFEA).

As of this writing, however, there is still no word on when the online application platform for the China teaching jobs would start operating.

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