CHED asked to probe alleged abuse of Filipino OJTs abroad
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday urged the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to investigate reports that Filipino hospitality students undergoing on the job training abroad were being exploited.
In a statement, Binay, also Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Concerns, said he wrote CHED Chairperson Dr. Patricia Licuanan citing reports that Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) students undergoing training in foreign countries were made to work for long hours without compensation.
“I would like to request your good office to conduct an investigation into this practice, and if needed, take appropriate measures to protect the interest and welfare of our youth,” Binay said in his letter.
Binay said that the alleged exploitation involved some colleges requiring their Hotel HRM students to undergo OJT abroad for three to six months.
He particularly noted reports about students undergoing their OJT in Singapore, where he said they were made to work like regular employees of hotels and other establishments.
“But they were paid less than the minimum wage or not at all,” Binay said.
He added that the training allowance given to the students did not fully compensate them for they were “given actual work instead of training.”
Meanwhile, he also noted previous allegations that foreign establishments exploited the OJT program to circumvent minimum wage laws.
“The United Kingdom has recently tightened its issuance of student visa because many foreigners, including Filipinos, are allegedly using it to gain employment in Britain,” Binay said
He added that under the policy modifying Tier 4 or the Student Visa Regulations, students would only be allowed to work during the school term for 10 hours a week instead of the previous 20 hours.
He said the policy took effect in April.