Bill on magna carta for out-of-school youth approved

THE House of Representatives has unanimously approved on third and final reading the proposed “Magna Carta of the Out-of-School Youth.”

House Bill (HB) No. 9103 seeks to grant OSY with social protection and establish an inter-agency council that shall ensure the delivery of the necessary services and interventions for their benefit.

HB No. 9103 was approved by all 170 House members present during the plenary voting.

The bill refers to an OSY as a member of the population aged 15 to 30 years old who is currently out of school, not gainfully employed and has not finished college or a post-secondary course.

The bill, principally authored by Reps. Wes Gatchalian (1st District, Valenzuela City) and Victor Yap (2nd District, Tarlac), recognizes that the State shall promulgate measures to achieve the following: a) inspire and encourage OSY to contribute to nation building; b) recognize the rights of OSY in society; c) provide an alternative learning system and a program for technical or vocational education for them; (d) give OSY full support for the improvement of their total wellbeing; and e) recognize the important role of the private sector and actively seek their partnership.

To this end, the measure shall promote the protection of the rights of OSY against discrimination by private corporations, entities and individuals, as well as push for the substantive equality in their rights in all spheres of growth and development.

It provides that the government, through the National Youth Commission (NYC) and concerned youth organizations, shall be guided by progressive developments in the human rights of OSY under international law, and thus shall be mandated to design policies to fulfill them.

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) shall offer and manage free technical and vocational courses for the OSY.

Aside from providing all supplies needed in the classes, the agency shall also give financial support to the students for the duration of the training, including transportation expenses.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shall also conduct a training program to provide the OSY with knowledge and skills to encourage entrepreneurial endeavors. It shall contain small business management, new approaches on innovation or introduction of new products and services to the markets.

Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment, in coordination with TESDA, shall ensure that OSY who graduated from technical vocational education and training (TVET) have decent work standards, including local job generation and employment, economic opportunities and providing strict regulations against forced and involuntary displacement; and protection of the rights and promotion of the welfare of migrate TVET graduates in host countries.

The bill stipulates that OSY in especially difficult circumstances, such as abuse, shall be provided with the following services: a) temporary and protective custody; b) medical and dental services; c) psychological and psychiatric evaluation; d) counseling; e) legal services; f) livelihood and financial assistance; g) productivity capability building; h) life skills training; and i) health education.