Asia-Pacific CHRIE Federation

Focus: Philippine Tourism and Hospitality Education 2016

By Ma. Christina G. Aquino is President of Asia Pacific CHRIE Federation and Exec. Director at Lyceum of the Philippines University with contributions from Joji Ilagan Bian, Country Representative of the Philippines.

The hospitality and tourism education will be facing very challenging years ahead. Our Philippines Department of Tourism (DOT) is looking at a 10 percent increase in foreign receipts of $6.5 billion with a target of 10 million international tourists for 2016 because of enhanced air connectivity and capacity expansion initiatives. This will translate to more investments in direct and related tourism facilities thereby increasing manpower requirements.

There will be so much opportunities for growth and expansion for the tourism education sector but it will require some level of resiliency and flexibility. The implementation of the K-12 program where the total number of education will be increased from 10-12 years will be a major challenge . Tourism and hospitality will be part of the technical vocational tracks that the Grade 11-12 students can opt to take which at the end will make them job ready. Aside from the Tech Voc track, there are three more tracks that students can choose from and these are the Academic Track, Sports Track and Arts and Culture. The Senior high school will be fully implemented this AY 2016-2017 with Grade 11 being offered this year and Grade 12 in AY 2017-2018. Aside from making students job ready at the end of Grade 12, opportunities for them to become entrepreneurs or pursue higher education will also be available. The additional two years in high school will affect higher education as there will be very minimal entrants to first year college, and consequently, in the succeeding years. The next four years in HEI will be greatly affected and so many schools are looking at alternative programs to offer during this period.

The tourism and hospitality education is now also actively continuing the implementation of the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA) for Tourism Professionals, in the Philippines and other ASEAN countries that include Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Indonesia. ASEAN Master Trainers and Assessors in the labor divisions of Front Office, Food Production, Housekeeping and F&B have been trained already. The participants in these Train the Trainers courses are now undertaking cascade training in their respective countries. Likewise the Tourism Faculty Immersion on the use of the ASEAN toolbox for the various ASEAN Common Competency Standards for Tourism Professionals (ACCSTP) and the Common ASEAN Tourism Curriculum (CATC) is now going on. There will be more immersion activities for Tourism Faculty members so they are able to deliver according to ASEAN industry standards.

This will be very busy years for the education sector with the anticipation of the reecognition of centers of excellence in compliance with the ASEAN MRA standards and the revision of policies, standards & guidelines (PSG) for Tourism and Hospitality Management education.

It is indeed more fun in the Philippines! Work and Fun are what keeps us all going in the tourism and education sector!

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Ma Christina Aquino is President of the Asia Pacific CHRIE Federation. Email Christina.