Vice President Jejomar C. Binay has asked the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to look into allegations of students of hospitality courses being exploited while undergoing on-the-job training (OJT) abroad.
Binay wrote CHED Chairperson Dr. Patricia Licuanan Tuesday saying he had received reports of colleges requiring their Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) students to undergo OJT in foreign countries “where they work long hours as wait staff without any compensation.”
“I find this alarming considering our laws governing overseas employment and youth welfare, among others,” Binay wrote Licuanan.
“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,” he added.
The Vice President is the Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Concerns.
He previously received reports that students undergoing OJT in countries including Singapore were working like regular employees of hotels and other establishments but were being paid less than the minimum wage or not at all.
“These students are considered interns or trainees and are given training allowance but are being made to work full time,” Binay said.
He said the training allowance does not fully compensate the students who are being given actual work instead of being given training.
Some colleges in the country require their students taking up hospitality courses, including HRM and Tourism, to complete OJTs abroad for three to six months as part of their curriculum.
Previous allegations have been made that foreign establishments have been using the OJT program to circumvent minimum wage laws.
The United Kingdom has recently tightened its issuance of student visas because many foreigners, including Filipinos, are allegedly using it to gain employment in Britain.
The policy modifying Tier 4 (Student Visa) Regulations took effect on April.
Under the new setup, students will only be allowed to work during the school term for 10 hours a week instead of the previous 20.#