A bill seeking to allow working professionals who didn't finish or enter college to get a bachelor's degree was approved on the third and final reading.
House Bill No. 9015, or the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP) Act, got 251 affirmative votes from lawmakers.
The ETEEAP was introduced in 1996 via Executive Order No. 330 under then-president Fidel V. Ramos.
Under the proposed measure, undergraduate professionals need not go through the traditional schooling method to earn a bachelor's degree.
It aims to strengthen the system of academy equivalency and accreditation for senior high school graduates, post-secondary technical-vocational graduates, and college undergraduate students.
According to the bill, their earned knowledge, experiences, achievements, and skills via their jobs shall be used to earn school credits. These will then be deducted from the total number of units or credits they must earn before graduating.
Requirements for the ETEEAP include being a Filipino citizen who's at least 23 years of age and with at least five years of work experience.
They must submit the following documents:
- Duly accomplished ETEEAP application form;
- certification of having passed the Department of Education (DepEd)'s accreditation and equivalency assessment
- employment certificates;
- Philippine Statistics Authority-issued birth certificate;
- résumé, curriculum vitae, or personal data sheet;
- service record or employment certificate, signed by the employer;
- job description signed by the employer, and;
- transcript of records.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) is in charge of implementing the provisions in the bill, and shall accredit colleges and universities that offer the ETEEAP.
CHEd will have the power to set fees for the accreditation, as well as convene an advisory body comprising the following entities:
- CHEd chairperson
- Technical Education and Skills Development Authority director general
- DepEd undersecretaries
- Department of Science and Technology
- Department of Labor and Employment
- National Economic Development Authority secretary
- Professional Regulatory Commission chairman
- National Youth Commission chairman
- university representatives
- the business sector.