By Gloria Jane Baylon, PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert F. del Rosario has urged Canada to recognize academic credentials Filipinos earned in the Philippines, noting this would expand job opportunities for Filipinos while meeting Canada’s labor shortage.
Del Rosario leads a Philippine delegation now in Canada, the first such visit in a decade by a Philippine Foreign Secretary.
A million jobs were unfilled across Canada in sectors such as mining, oil, and health care by 2021, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said. Filipinos could very well fill the shortages if only Canada gives due credits to degrees in the Philippines, he said.
In his meeting with Jason Kenney,Canada’s Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, del Rosario observed that college-level degrees earned from the Philippines are downgraded in Canada.
While noting that this “may be due to differences in curricula,” del Rosario assured that the quality of Philippine education is competitive.
Canada considers as inadequate the Philippines’ 6-4-4 education, or mere 14 years of formal schooling of Filipinos, when compared to Canada’s which is 6-6-4 or a total 16 years.
The Department of Education of the Philippines has this year began adjusting the number of years of formal schooling to jibe with most international criteria such as Canada’s.
Still, Kenney praised the positive contributions of Filipinos coming to and settling in Canada who, he was quoted, “are boosting the country’s economy and enriching its culture and society.” He said that part of Canada’s success as a country of immigration was its focus on high levels of human capital, or people who could move
upwards in the economy.
Del Rosario said that Canada would continue to attract greater number of Filipino workers in the coming years, as Filipinos shared close affinity with traditional Canadian values of hard work, respect for tradition, devotion to family, religious tolerance, and adherence to the law.
Filipinos are Canada’s largest source of temporary and skilled workers since 2010 at around 30,000 a year. India and China previously dominated Canada’s labor market.