BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) has called for a reskilling of the workforce in the IT-BPO sector to complement the agenda on digital transformation.
In his keynote speech during the 175th culmination ceremony of the Negros Occidental Language and Information Technology Center on June 4, Benitez stressed the need to accelerate the reskilling of workers to address the challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
“Digital transformation is our ticket to economic recovery and the key to sustained economic growth,” he said.
Benitez led the virtual graduation of 59 Contact Center Services NC II graduates of NOLITC, representing his brother, Alfredo Benitez, who is the provincial consultant on economic affairs. He commended the graduates and wished that their certification will open new opportunities for their families and lead to high income and improved standard of living.
He also lauded NOLITC as a trailblazer in the reskilling revolution in Negros by preparing the youth to work in call centers or IT firms, and recognized its transition to online learning during the pandemic. He challenged NOLITC to move forward to higher-level IT-BPO training programs that will focus on enhancing cognitive abilities, such as critical thinking, creativity, and complex problem-solving.
To help NOLITC and other educational institutions in designing new programs on digital literacy and enhance the competitiveness of the workforce, Benitez said he filed House Bill 6874, that aims to design all primary and higher education and TVET programs under the UNESCO standards.
“This will make our IT program and graduates globally competitive across the different categories, formal and informal programs of learning,” he added.
The proposed bill also provides for capacity building for IT teachers and trainers following the UNESCO IT Competency Framework.
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, in his message, said that the trainees’ achievements have never been more material and pertinent than it is now, with their knowledge more relevant, given that technology is important in the new normal.
Lacson said he is confident that their training in NOLITC will equip them with skills to be able to transcend limitations and be the society’s allies in responding to the ever-changing needs.
Dr. Ma. Cristina Orbecido, NOLITC Vocational School administrator, in her welcome message, urged the graduates to be resilient, adaptive, and creative and always look for opportunities as they transition to the workplace.
Marie June Castro, provincial GAD focal point system action officer, also expressed elation that NOLITC has been judiciously spending the Provincial GAD Fund, as manifested in the personal development and success stories of its graduates.*