GAIN President Ms. Monette Iturralde-Hamlin speaks at the 395th General Membership Meeting of the Philippine Association of Legitimate Service Contractors (PASLCON). Also in photo, second from left is GAIN VP for Industry Relations, Ms. Grace Abella-Zata.
Ms. Monette Iturralde-Hamlin, President of Government Academe Industry Network Inc., graced the Philippine Association of Legitimate Service Contractors (PASLCON) 395th General Membership Meeting as one of its Keynote Speakers last July 28 at Club Filipino, Greenhills, San Juan City.
PALSCON is an association of legitimate local service contractors, and one of its major goals is to professionalize the service contracting industry in the country to realize a sustained and genuine economic progress. This aligns with GAIN’s mission to empower the Filipino talent to be globally competitive.
Expounding on the topic “Going Global and Securing Our Competitive Advantage,” Ms. Iturralde-Hamlin presented a strong case on English as the global language of communication and how it opens door to the outside world. English is undoubtedly the language for tourism, diplomacy, innovation, the Internet, technology, entertainment, society, business, economics, and trade. For years, Filipino workers had the competitive edge as a literate, English-speaking, and hardworking talent pool. However, in the education sector, international assessments show the Philippines lagging behind other Southeast Asian countries in English language proficiency. One of the significant root causes for this dismal performance is the absence of national targets. Ms. Iturralde-Hamlin then emphasized the importance of setting national targets in English proficiency skills by using the CEFR as the international benchmark used by universities and industries around the world.
Since its establishment in 2018, GAIN has promoted the adoption of international standards for communication and digital skills of the Philippine graduates and workforce through its national conferences and collaboration with various sectors particularly industry associations such as PALSCON to gather a stronger collective voice in pushing for legislation.
GAIN VP Ms. Grace Zata tells graduating students: With English and digital skills, you have a lot of opportunities
GAIN Vice President for Industry Linkages Ms. Grace Abella-Zata speaks at the Altruchack 2022:
A Social Impact Hackathon organized by Adamson University in partnership with Accenture, PLC.
Ms. Grace Abella-Zata, GAIN Vice President for Industry Linkages, speaks at the Altruchack 2022: A Social Impact Hackathon organized by Adamson University in partnership with Accenture, PLC. The 3-week event is driven to solve the problems of marginalized communities specifically in the areas of healthcare and wellness, education, and skills development.
Discussing the topic "Skills Development as One of the Problems We Face Today", Ms. Zata brought her decades of industry experience to talk about skills development, particularly in English and Digital Competencies, that the Filipino talent needs to stand out in the global market pool.
Ms. Zata further emphasized that skills development should be anchored on the opportunities that arise from the industries with biggest opportunities such as Information Technology, Healthcare, and Tourism sectors.
Encouraging incoming graduates, she stressed that one of the biggest opportunities for fresh graduates to land good-paying jobs comes from the acceleration of the globalization of work. In addition to outsourcing work to the BPOs and KPOs, international companies are also directly hiring Filipino professionals through freelance arrangements or as regular employees.
“There will be more opportunities for Filipinos with good English and digital skills,” Ms. Abella-Zata promises, explaining why GAIN advocates the adoption of CEFR and DigComp so the Philippines will have a global standard for measuring English and digital competency skills. “What gets measured gets done,” Ms. Zata concludes, challenging the student population to help young people from the D and E economic sectors to similarly acquire the skills that can provide pathways to a better life.
Hearty congratulations to our GAIN President, Ms. Monette Iturralde-Hamlin for winning the Global Woman Leadership Award 2022, a prestigious international awards run by the Global Woman Club! She received the prized honor during the Global Woman Summit and Awards held in London, United Kingdom last June 11-12, 2022.
Founded by Mirela Sula in London in March 2016 to celebrate International Women’s Day, the Global Woman Club has since grown in membership to several thousands of businesswomen and created a membership model where women come together to empower each other and lift each other up to greater success.
With the vision of connecting women globally and empowering them locally, Global Woman Club supports women’s professional and personal development through education and training, regardless of their age, culture or race. There are now 27 clubs spanning the globe, including London, Paris, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Albania, New York, South Africa, Chicago, Dubai, Cyprus, Singapore and Manila, to name a few.
Members participate in monthly meet-ups, learn from masterclasses, and thrive in a safe, caring and supportive environment for building their personal and professional brands, and creating awareness through the Club’s media platform.
Past awardees who have brought honor to the Philippines are Rayla Allertsen (née Melchor Santos) as 2019 Global Woman Inspirational Woman Awardee; Myrna Yao as 2020 Global Woman Honorary (Iconic) Awardee; Rosalina Tan as 2021 Global Woman Honorary (Iconic) Awardee; Kathryn Bellosillo as 2021 Global Woman Corporate Leadership Awardee, and Tosin Arowojolu as 2021 Global Woman Leadership Awardee.
The 7th Global Woman Summit and Awards featured a line-up of outstanding speakers blazing a trail of transformation, empowerment and leadership development. Attended by over 300 international delegates, the Summit centered around three main themes: conscious leadership, financial freedom, and personal and professional wellbeing.
Featured panel sessions over the two days included The Role of Women in Leadership for Female Founders, Fast-Tracking Your Professional Career, The Men’s Panel on Why Men Should Stand for Women Empowerment, A Media Panel on The Power of Media and the Digital World, and the Rise of Young Female Entrepreneurs. Joining this internationally acclaimed roster od speakers was Ms. Iturralde-Hamlin herself, who shared her expertise and experience on overcoming cultural barriers for business success.
You made us and the whole country proud, Ms. Monette!
GAIN receives statements of support from renowned industry associations, PMAP, IBPAP, and TIBFI.
Several industry associations, such as People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP), IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), and Tourism Industry Board Foundation Inc. (TIBFI) have drafted and released statements stating their support for global language standards particularly the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) as a recognized metric for communicative competitiveness, and for the National Roadmap for Global Competitiveness in Communication Skills (NRGCCS) of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
In a circular routed to its members, PMAP issued recommendations for minimum competency levels to enable graduates to be industry-ready using the globally accepted CEFR. For entry-level jobs in Hospitality and Tourism, Allied Health Sciences, Education, Business, and Engineering industries, PMAP recommends B1 (Intermediate) as minimum and B2 (Upper-Intermediate) as ideal level. PMAP hopes these recommendations will guide educational institutions and industries when setting the program and course outcomes to ensure that their graduates and the workforce will be competitive both within the Philippine setting and overseas. Ms. Angelina Mukhi, 2021 PMAP President, further stated that industry recommendations can be included in the many Outcomes Based Education policies of CHED such as Accreditation Criteria, SUC Levelling, Typology and Course and Program outcomes for Technical Working Groups.
IBPAP, in a letter by its President and CEO Mr. Jack Madrid, “salutes the efforts of GAIN” in forging strong partnerships among government, academe, and industry stakeholders to ensure that the Filipino talent are equipped with skills that make them globally competitive and future-ready for the fast-paced changes in the workplace. Mr. Madrid further emphasized that as one of the economic pillars and a key employment generator in the Philippines, the IT-BPM industry must remain competitive in the evolving business landscape, by ensuring that potential and existing talent develop and improve essential skills such as communicating and engaging effectively with global customers and stakeholders.
From the perspective of the Tourism industry that has generated 12% of the country’s employment requirements and created multiplier effects from primary and secondary providers of products and services, it is important that essential competencies in the areas of communication and digital proficiency be strengthened for local and global customers. For this reason, TIBFI, a tripartite body composed of tourism representatives from the government, private (institutional and individual) and labor sectors headed by its 2021 Chairperson Ms. Ma. Christina Aquino recommended a CEFR minimum level of B1 for entry-level positions, and B2 for managerial positions for hospitality and tourism industries.
Highlights of Speakers’ Presentations from GAIN Masterclass 4 – Hybrid Work Models in Government, Academe, and Industry
True to its commitment to advance the Filipino talent, the most recent Masterclass of the Government Academe Industry Network (GAIN) centered on Hybrid Work Models as organizations of all sizes are adapting to a changing workforce post-pandemic. Attended by more than 200 participants, the online event held last May 27, 2022 featured an acclaimed roster of speakers who shared their perspectives and insights across industries.
Mr. Jack Madrid, President of the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), shared industry trends in 2022 and beyond as they relate to digital, talent, and working models. Representing the Philippine IT-BPM industry that directly employs over 1.4M Filipinos, Mr. Madrid presented a riveting case for adopting the hybrid working model for the industry, looking at it from the employer, employee and customer points of view. With the ongoing global talent war for talented and skilled people, employers need to balance the twin challenges of hiring and retaining talent.
Quoting Albert Einstein, Atty. Alfie Suarez, Senior Vice President of OneAboitiz Group cautioned participants: "You can’t use an old map to explore a new world." Drawing on various research by Gartner, Mercer, Deloitte, and Bersin on paradigm shifts in leadership disruptions, Atty. Suarez outlined several key takeaways for employers who wish to retain talent in a post-covid remote work world, among which are flexibility, intentionality, shared purpose, and leadership edge.
Sharing about stories, challenges, and solutions from the unique learning community of the 7 schools of the Southville Global Education Network (SGEN), Dr. Marie Vic Suarez discussed the most effective Blended Learning Frameworks for Basic Education and College. She discussed about SGEN’s 4 modes of learning to address the varied circumstances and needs of students: VOLT- Virtual Online Learning and Teaching, Hy-VOLT (VOLT + limited face to face), Extended Face to Face Classroom Learning (as permitted by the government), and the Special Programs (INNOVE and Flex) that make up SGEN's Blended Learning Frameworks.
With Asia Pacific College as one of the pioneers in Hyflex Learning, APC President Dr. Tata Pastor-Medado presented a strong case about the Hyflex Education Model, where educational institutions should exist not just in a confined space but in an "alternative space" where teaching, learning, and working co-exist. Ms. Aileen Judan-Jiao, President of IBM Philippines, drove home the point by sharing the perspective of the industry, where everyone must be prepared for the "anywhere workplace." Today is no longer about degrees or competencies but skills, with digital skills being non-negotiable for early professional hires to assimilate and adapt to the work environment.
Concluding the session was Atty. Jon Zuniga, Head of Quisumbing Torres' Dispute Resolution Practice Group, and Co-Chairperson of the European Chamber of Commerce Human Capital Committee, who shared in detail legal considerations, regulations, and related labor advisories that should be part of policies, negotiations, and deliberations in different work arrangements in the post-pandemic world.
Access the presentations of our topnotch speakers by clicking on this link:
Representing the Philippines. GAIN Chairman Dr. Peter Laurel and GAIN President Ms. Monette Hamlin were Keynote Speakers during the 35th Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific (AUAP) Annual Conference.
GAIN Chairman Dr. Peter Laurel and GAIN President Ms. Monette Hamlin represented the country as Keynote Speakers during the 35th Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific (AUAP) Annual Conference held last May 13, 2022. They joined a panel of acclaimed international speakers from Danubius University, Romania, University of Tehran, Iran, and Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia.
With the theme "Higher Education Challenges in the Post-Covid 19 World”, the AUAP conference brought together academicians, researchers, and industry practitioners from the Asia Pacific region to share experiences for the improvement of Higher Education and collaboratively draw the master plan to redefine the future of our education ecosystem.
Ms. Monette Iturralde-Hamlin delivered a riveting speech on the Role of Communications in Global Competitiveness and Peacekeeping. She emphasized on how communication is central to many aspects of work in conflict and post-conflict settings, with tools of communication being a double-edged sword that can be used to both incite violence as well as carry messages that promote peace and reconciliation.
Dr. Peter Laurel talked about Pursuing Peace Amidst Conflicts in Higher Education Institutions, emphasizing the incorporation of personal development and social involvement in the curricula. He added that educational institutions should offer safe spaces for discussing values, beliefs, ideas, and even the messiness of human responses.
Students and teachers take part in a pilot project between GAIN and Department of Education - Valenzuela City, with the aim to trailblaze the education system and establish International Standards in English Proficiency.
The Philippines ranked the lowest in English, Math, and Science among 58 countries that took the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test. Other international assessments show the Philippines lagging behind other Southeast Asian countries in English language proficiency. One of the significant root causes for this dismal performance is the absence of national targets. Starting with English, GAIN proposes the use of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) used by most of the countries all over the world.
As one if its initiatives to further this advocacy, GAIN partnered with the Department of Education of Valenzuela City on a pilot project with the aim to trailblaze the education system and establish International Standards in Proficiency.
The project was participated by teachers and students from selected High Schools in Valenzuela City, who took the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) last April 29, 2022. Test results served as a framework of reference to provide policy and curriculum recommendations to upskilling English teachers, improving the achievement levels of students in national and international tests, and making available free learning resources for teachers and students.
Highlights of Speakers’ Presentations from GAIN Masterclass 3 - Navigating Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Certifications, and FREE Online Resources to Upskill Managers, Employees, Faculty, and Students
Realizing that our human talent must be equipped with both digital skills and global language communication skills to succeed in today’s borderless workplace, the Government Academe Industry Network (GAIN) organized a Masterclass entitled Navigating Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Certifications, and FREE Online Resources to Upskill Managers, Employees, Faculty, and Students on last March 18, 2022. This was the third in a series of learning sessions organized by GAIN.
Joined by over 200 participants via Zoom Teleconferencing, attendees gained knowledge of the latest MOOCs and free learning resources that are available, accessible, and necessary to upskill and thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Mr. Rex Wallen Tan, armed with his vast expertise in Digital Literacy and a Degree of 1st class Masters in Artificial Intelligence from the Imperial College London, shared about Digital Badges, Creative Commons, and the Digital Landscape.
This was followed by a talk from MOOCs expert and alumnus of the Ohio State University Learner Agency Program, Mr. Nelson del Mundo. Having completed over 100 MOOCs on various topics from top universities around the globe, Mr. del Mundo discussed about the “Power of MOOCs” and encouraged participants to take advantage of this unique opportunity for educators in the digital age.
Dr. Romualdo Mabuan, MOOC Facilitator at the Regional English Language Office (RELO) of the US Embassy in the Philippines, further discussed the available FREE learning resources for English Language Learners. RELO is committed to improving English language teaching quality through capacity building initiatives which include curriculum, assessment, and materials development along with teacher training and professional development opportunities for educators, students, and professionals throughout the region in the countries of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Brunei, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific Island countries.
The Masterclass concluded with a talk from Mr. Eklavya Bhave, Coursera Senior Regional Director for Asia on Learning without Limits: A Digital Learning Ecosystem for Educators, Institutions and Learners. Mr. Bhave emphasized how MOOCs can improve student global employability and foster skills-first learning, as well as tailor-made courses for companies being an investment for digital and human skills necessary to build a future-proof organization.
Access the presentations of our topnotch speakers by clicking on this link:
The Government Academe Industry Network (GAIN) and the Philippine Association of Legitimate Service Contractors (PALSCON) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote English proficiency skills particularly to the service contracting industry.
With the MOU signed on December 14, 2021, both parties agreed to collaborate on the adoption of the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR) and to support the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) initiative on the National Roadmap for Global Competitiveness in Communication Skills (NRGCCS) that will enable not just the graduates to be industry-ready, but also the current workforce to be equipped with globally competitive communication skills.
For the past four years, GAIN has promoted the adoption of international standards for communication and digital skills of the Philippine graduates and workforce through its national conferences and collaboration with various sectors to gather a stronger collective voice in pushing for legislation.
Representing GAIN for the virtual signing were its Chairman Dr. Peter Laurel, President Ms. Monette Iturralde-Hamlin, Vice President for Industry Linkages Ms. Grace Abella-Zata, Secretary Dr. Jocelyn Tizon, and Executive Director Dr. Genevieve Ledesma-Tan.
Representing PALSCON for the virtual signing were its President Ms. Rhoda Caliwara, Secretary General Mr. Alexander Chichioco, PRO Mr. Froilan Florendo, Treasurer Ms. Agnes Escalona, Director Ms. Lea Soriano, Director Ms. Aya Barsaga, Past President Ms. Debbie Centeno, Past President and ECOP Director Mr. Butch Guerrero, Corporate Secretary and Head Coach of PALSCON Academy Mr. Jay Ar Sta. Ana VII, Director and Region 4A Chapter President Mr. Wowie Dictado, Director and Cebu Chapter President Ms. Grace Iligan, and Executive Secretary Ms. Paula Narciso.
PALSCON is an association of legitimate local service contractors that aims to professionalize the service contracting industry in the country to realize its aspiration of a sustained and genuine economic progress that is felt and enjoyed by the entire Filipino citizenry.
A day after the MoU was sealed, GAIN Director Rex Wallen Tan graced PALSCONnect, a virtual event entitled “Buzz, Biz, and Beyond” spearheaded by the PALSCON Training Academy. In his segment, Tan addressed more than 2,000 viewers, emphasizing the importance of setting national targets in English proficiency skills by using the CEFR as the international benchmark used by universities and industries around the world.
Tan likewise enthusiastically shared the upcoming launch of the English for Tagalog speakers course in Google’s Duolingo, the most popular language mobile application with more than 10 million users. GAIN has been taking the lead in developing the Duolingo CEFR-based course that will be made accessible for free to Filipinos with a mobile phone who want to improve their English-speaking skills.
The Government Academe Industry Network (GAIN) and the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on November 3, 2021 to collaborate on initiatives to ensure the global competitiveness of Filipinos. In particular, both GAIN and IBPAP will work towards promoting awareness of the need for international standards in communications and digital proficiency. The two organizations ardently support the establishment of specific National Targets for International English Standards using the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) used globally by students, teachers, administrators, and the workforce.
IBPAP is the enabling association for the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry in the Philippines, serving as the one-stop information and advocacy gateway for the industry. With over 300 industry and support-industry members, IBPAP plays a pivotal role in sustaining rapid growth of the IT-BPM industry by working to ensure an enduring supply of high-quality labor, supporting service innovation, and providing country visibility. The IT-BPM industry directly employs over 1.3M people with a multiplier effect of 4x and generated an estimated revenue amounting to 26.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2020.
A nonprofit organization, GAIN paves the path for the government, academe, and industry to identify and address workforce issues that can only be resolved through the collaborative efforts and synergy of experts and decision makers from the different sectors.
For the past four years, GAIN has promoted the adoption of international standards for communication and digital skills of the Philippine graduates and workforce through its national conferences and collaboration with various sectors. This massive awareness campaign has prompted a Senate Inquiry on the decline in English Proficiency of Filipino Students and the need to assess present curricula in elementary and high school and encourage trainings and other learning approaches. It has also inspired Sen. Pia Cayetano’s Senate Bill no. 62 which seeks to establish an Education Roadmap that shall provide a common national policy on education to enhance global competitiveness. It has also served as a catalyst for the launch of the National Roadmap for Global Competitiveness in Communication Skills (NRGCCS) by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) with the goal of adopting the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages as a recognized metric for communicative competitiveness.
Representing GAIN for the virtual signing were its Chairman Dr. Peter Laurel, President Ms. Monette Iturralde-Hamlin, Vice President for Industry Linkages Ms. Grace Abella-Zata, Secretary Dr. Jocelyn Tizon, Treasurer Mr. Gerry Sanvictores, GAIN Executive Director Dr. Genevieve Ledesma-Tan, and Director Mr. Rex Wallen Tan.
Representing IBPAP were its President and CEO Mr. Jack Madrid, Trustee for Talent and Infosys Country Head Ms. Ayhee Campos, Executive Director for Talent Attraction & Development Ms. Frankie Antolin, Lead for Talent Attraction & Industry-Academe Linkages Ms. Zoe T. Diaz De Rivera, and Marketing and Communications Officer Mr. OJ Serrano.
GAIN has entered into partnerships with various organizations for a stronger collective voice in pushing for the adoption of international standards, signing similar MOUs with renowned organizations from the Industry such as the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP), Tourism Industry Board Foundation, Inc. (TIBFI), Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers (PACEOS), and Asian Association of School HRMD Practitioners, Inc. (AASHPI), as well as Academic organizations such as the Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific (AUAP), Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA), and Association of Local Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (ALCUCOA).