A total of 606 beneficiaries were given aid by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through the K to 12 DOLE Adjustment Measures Program (AMP) by the end of last year. A response of the Labor Department to the loss of work Higher Education Institution (HEI) employees face during the implementation of the K to 12 program, the K to 12 DOLE AMP provides displaced workers protection in the form of financial assistance, employment facilitation, and livelihood opportunities.
In Floridablanca, Pampanga, Ian Fel Metal leaves home early to undergo training as a Sales Agent at a Business Process Outsourcing office. Just last year, his life was thrown off balance when Holy Angel University, where he taught Psychology, announced they had to lay off staff because of the low enrollment rates that year. Suddenly, Ian had no income to support himself, his family, as well as his graduate studies.
"From September 2017 to January of 2018, I was unemployed," he recounts, "I had no financial resources during the final stage of my thesis writing."
When DOLE representatives in Region 3 reached out to him and informed him about the K to 12 DOLE AMP, Ian signed up promptly. The aid he received from the program allowed him to focus on finishing his thesis and sustained him while he applied for work. Not long after, Ian found himself accepting a job offer and enjoying a stable source of income once again.
Tristan Senajon faced the same dilemma as Ian last year when the Dean of Cebu Eastern College informed him that they will no longer be offering the class he used to teach the following semester. It came as a great shock to him.
"I never expected it and did not see it coming because I was commended as one of the outstanding college teachers the previous semester," he explained.
His wife was then pregnant and about to deliver their first baby, and Tristan knew he had to find a new job fast in order to support his growing family. When he learned his application for the K to 12 DOLE AMP was approved, he was able to breathe a big sigh of relief.
"I badly needed money to keep my family alive," he says, "The program helped me a lot, not just to keep my family alive but also for my transportation and preparation of documents while looking for another job."
"I can say that, without this program, I think I might be in depression. It is not easy to look for a job — a new job — and it is more difficult if you don’t have enough resources to use in your job seeking."
Today, Tristan works as a Senior High School Teacher at Tuyan National High School in Naga, Cebu. "I finally found a new job; thanks to DOLE," he says effusively, "Thank you God for giving me DOLE as your instrument."
When asked about how beneficial the program is, he says he wishes more displaced workers would avail of the assistance package. “I know there are many teachers and instructors affected by the K to 12 implementation,” he says. “If given the chance to share this program to every school, I will not hesitate to volunteer.”