Solon calls for inquiry into OJT; says students are being exploited

A LAWMAKER is urging Congress to conduct a probe, in aid of legislation, on the status of students who undergo on-the-job training here in the country and abroad amid reports that they are being exploited.

In House Resolution 2746, Rep. Angelo B. Palmones (Party-list, AGHAM) called on the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education to look into reports reaching the office of Vice President Jejomar Binay that Filipino hospitality students undergoing OJT in Singapore were victims of unfair treatment.

The Vice President has urged the Commission on Higher Education to investigate the reports.

“Vice President Binay said these students were made to work like regular employees of hotels and other establishments but were paid less than the minimum wage or not at all,” Palmones said.

According to Palmones, part of the curriculum for higher education is for students to undergo practicum or on-the-job training pertaining to their chosen curriculum or field of study.

“The job training provides the students the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills gained from schools on actual work and earn experience and exposure to real office environment,” Palmones said.

He also said OJT aims to develop and inculcate positive values among students such as good human relations, discipline and a good work attitude.

Palmones urged the higher education institutions to observe proper guidelines in sending their students for OJT to companies and organizations they know would extend fair and objective treatment to their students.

He likewise stressed the apparent need to look into a provision under the Philippine Labor Code, which provides for the hiring of apprentices without payment.

“We want to empower and help the Filipino youth become productive members of society through education and youth employment with just compensation,” Palmones said.

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