From an ordinary houseboy to a world-renowned executive chef, Pablo “Boy” Logro, is now a career ambassador, proving that hard work pays off.
Logro started work at the age 14 and pursued culinary arts until he reached his current status as the first Filipino executive chef. He currently hosts two TV cook shows—'Kusina Master' in Channel 7, and 'Idol sa Kusina in Channel 11.' He also owns the Chef Logro Institute of Culinary and Kitchen Services.
With all his achievements, Chef Boy now wants these shared among young people who wish to follow his footsteps by being one of the country's career ambassadors (CA) in culinary arts.
At the 2nd National Career Advocacy Congress last week, Logro, together with 21 other career ambassadors, accepted the challenge to "continue their dedication and aim higher to further strengthen career guidance, employment generation, and overall competitiveness among youth".
The 22 career ambassadors took their oath in a simple ceremony at the Congress held at the Midas Hotel in Pasay City. They will hold their 'positions' for two years.
The DOLE, together with its convergent partners under the Career Guidance Advocacy Program (CGAP) namely, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Professional Regulations Commission (PRC), Department of Education (DepEd), and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), administered the oath to the new Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Higher Education Career Ambassadors for 2014 to 2016.
"It is a first for our country to identify people whom young people—our future workers—can look up to in terms of successful career path. Your role is crucial in making the youth armed and ready in the world of work. Your task cannot be underestimated," Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said.
"But while our gratitude extends to the highest level possible, know that our expectations have been set on a higher bar. I know this means more work for all of us, but we have to remember to place the public above self. We cannot separate ourselves from the public, especially the youth, whom we vow to assist," she added.
The identification of the career ambassadors is one of the joint activities enrolled in the Career Guidance Advocacy Plan 2013-2016.
As career ambassadors, their roles are to: (1) actively participate in the implementation of CGAP Activities; (2) deliver career talks in various activities, such as national and regional career congresses, career guidance week, and convocations; and (3) act as career advocacy speakers in various media.
The career ambassadors have been pre-selected by TESDA and CHED, being the focal agencies for the career ambassador program. To be a career ambassador, one must have the following qualifications: (a) a graduate of any tech-voc program or a bachelor's degree course who has made a successful career in his/her chosen field; (b) with excellent oral communication and interpersonal skills, willing and able to talk before a large audience; (c) for TVET career ambassadors, any of the regional or national winners of its annual TESDA Idol Search; (d) for Higher Education career ambassadors, a grantee of CHED scholarship program; (e) any celebrity with a wholesome image who is willing to commit his/her celebrity status to the CGAP's objectives.
Baldoz, expressing confidence that the career ambassadors will support the advocacies of the DOLE and continue to foster an environment beneficial for students and young jobseekers, also welcomed the representation of the other TVET career ambassadors, namely, Jose Gabriel Prats, NCR; Gilbert Rafer, CAR; Marivic Reyes, Region 1; Rommelda Paguyo, Region 2; Jonathan Gotidoc, Jr., Region 3; Samuel Matera, Region 4-B; Romnick Jerusalem, Region 5; Glynda Languido, Region 6; Myrna Pitaluna, Region 7; Jacqueline de Paz, Region 8; Michael Cases, Region 9; Chinet Mocorro, Region 10; Daisy Alegarbes, Region 11; Dennis Franilla, Region 12; and Celso Felipe, CARAGA.
For higher education, the career ambassadors are Eunice Soliven-Acosta, Region 2; Cristopher Ian CAbaiza, Region 2; Joseph Lian, Region 4-A; Yohann Kae Panis, Region 8; Diana Abogado-Batan, Region 8; and Marjorie Yu-Restor, Region 8.
TESDA Secretary General Joel Villanueva, who congratulated the career ambassadors, said:
"There is a choice. I think a sound career advice to the young should start by informing them that they have a choice. You have a choice whether you want to take a tech-voc course or a college degree. You have a choice whether you want to go abroad, be a wage worker, or self-employed."
"I believe our Career Ambassadors have special roles in helping our young people make informed decisions. Through their career talks, they help young people make relevant preparations for the world of work," he added.
Toward this end, Baldoz said the Career Guidance Advocacy Program plays an important role in molding and guiding the youth towards right career decisions.
"It is more than just enabling individuals to make rational choices. It is a helping profession," she said.
"There is more that needs to be done; and we, the DOLE, and the rest of our partners in this job-skills matching endeavor pledge to aid you in providing an environment that favors the thousands of our young people confidently looking forward to a productive job that they feel would be theirs," she added.
The efforts of DOLE in addressing jobs and skills mismatch is in line with President Benigno S. Aquino III's 22-point labor and employment agenda, whose overarching goal is to invest in the country's human resource to make them more competitive and employable.