The government should review and redesign the country’s labor and education regulatory policies, practices, and mechanisms to increase Filipino professionals' labor participation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.

This is according to Dr. Arnel Onesimo Uy, chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education’s Technical Committee for Accountancy, at a webinar organized by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) recently. Uy served as discussant during the webinar, which presented the findings of a PIDS study that assessed Filipino professionals' readiness to participate in the mobility of skilled labor in ASEAN member-states.

Uy said Filipino professionals are “generally comparable” with professionals in other ASEAN countries in terms of indicators such as upgraded educational systems, continuing professional development (CPD), assessment and examination, and research and publications. 

He underscored the importance of research and publications, noting that these serve as “a pathway to promote innovation and increase the value proposition of Filipino professionals”.

While there has been progress in the competency of Filipino professionals in the ASEAN over the years, Uy noted it is equally important to sustain their readiness to be comparable with existing mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) of each profession. “Continuous improvement will ensure that the country will generally be a better provider of talents or skilled workers,” he explained.

For instance, faculty members should always be updated to carry out their CPD requirements, research, and publications. At the same time, the curriculum should be outcome-based to be at par with international standards, hence, the need to align qualification frameworks with global professional competency standards. 

Moreover, Uy said benchmarking best practices in human resource development in the Asia-Pacific region is essential in enhancing the quality of Filipino professional services in the areas of social, human, and knowledge capital.

He concluded his comments by highlighting the need to review related regulatory policies and practices, conduct a follow-up study on the uptake of the MRA pathways for the different professions, and review the mechanisms for responding to future changes in education and competency standards of the professions. ###

Watch the video of this seminar at For more videos of PIDS events, go to

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