Did you know that the Philippine government has several projects for returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)? One of these is the “Sa ‘Pinas, Ikaw ang Ma’am at Sir” (SPIMS) project of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and partner institutions.
As the project name suggests, the purpose of SPIMS is to “gain back” Filipino workers abroad, specifically those who have passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). Through SPIMS, they can return to the country, find a job, and practice their profession as educators.
“Sa ‘Pinas, Ikaw ang Ma’am at Sir” (SPIMS) Project
The SPIMS project offers options for OFW LET passers to get hired as Teacher 1 in public elementary and junior high schools in the Philippines. It provides an Online Refresher Course to re-train them regarding the teaching skills that they need. The project also offers the option for them to work in non-teaching positions in government as well as in private institutions.
SPIMS is implemented by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), DOLE Regional Offices, and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO). It is also done in collaboration with the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Philippine Normal University (PNU), and other partner institutions.
Who Can Apply for the SPIMS Project?
You can apply for the project if you are an:
- OFW LET Passer – (a) with teaching experience within the last 5 years; (b) with teaching experience beyond 5 years; and (c) without teaching experience.
- OFW who has arrived home for not more than 3 years based on the current year.
NOTE: Those without teaching experience, along with those who have teaching experience beyond 5 years, must undergo the Online Refresher Course.
What are the Steps Involved?
Here is an overview of the SPIMS “Project Flowchart:”
- The OFW fills up the SPIMS Application Form online. Another option would be to visit the nearest DOLE Regional Office if he/she is already in the Philippines, or the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), if he/she is still abroad — and submit an application.
- The National Reintegration Center for OFWS (NRCO) evaluates the application.
- The DOLE Secretary endorses the application to the Department of Education (DepEd), which screens all the applicants.
- The DepEd informs concerned School Superintendents about qualified applicants.
- Qualified applicants submit their documentary requirements.
- The DepEd prepares plantilla positions for the applicants.
- The applicant is appointed as Teacher 1.
NOTE: Final evaluation of the applicants is done by the DepEd, based on its current hiring guidelines.
What is the Online Refresher Course?
As mentioned earlier, the Online Refresher Course re-trains applicants on the knowledge and skills they need before going back to teaching. OFW LET passers who have no teaching experience, as well as those who have teaching experience beyond 5 years, are required to undergo this course, which is conducted by the Philippine Normal University (PNU).
The process for joining the Online Refresher Course is as follows:
- The DOLE-NRCO endorses to PNU the list of OFW LET passers who will be taking the course.
- PNU will get in touch with the OFW via email, providing him/her with an Enrolment Key to be able to access the online platform.
According to the DOLE-NRCO website, as of 2015, the Online Refresher Course is free. However, each participant is expected to pay PHP 1,500 to PNU as Certification/Assessment Fee.
Where Can I Learn More About SPIMS?
To learn more about the SPIMS project, you may visit the nearest DOLE Regional Office in the Philippines, or the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) if you are abroad.
You can also contact the National Reintegration Center for OFWS (NRCO) through:
Address: Ground Floor, Blas F. Ople Development Center, cor. Solana and Victoria Sts., Intramuros, Manila
Telephone: (02) 527 6184 or (02) 526 2392
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Video: Former OFW is Now a Public School Teacher
The project has helped a number of OFWs gain employment as public school teachers in the Philippines. Check out this video of a former OFW who is now a teacher, thanks to the “Sa ‘Pinas, Ikaw ang Ma’am at Sir” (SPIMS) project:
Other Opportunities for Returning OFWs
Aside from the SPIMS project, there are other programs for returning OFWs. In a previous report by the Philippine News Agency, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III talked about the “Balik Pilipinas, Balik Hanapbuhay” livelihood program. It provides returning OFWs with an assistance package amounting to a maximum of PHP 20,000, which they can use as a start-up or additional capital for a business or livelihood venture.
Moreover, Bello discussed the current administration’s “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program, which is undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr). From 2017 to 2022, the PHP 8 trillion program will be constructing roads, bridges, airports, railways, and other infrastructures — thus creating job opportunities for thousands upon thousands of Filipinos, including returning OFWs.
If you are an OFW who also happens to be a LET passer, why not take this opportunity to return to the Philippines as a public school teacher? By teaching in an elementary or high school here, you can practice your profession without having to go abroad, just to provide financial support for your family. And besides, due to the current pandemic, working in the country seems ideal, as you will be closer to your family and you’ll be able to help uplift the economy at the same time.
DISCLAIMER: The above details are presented for information-sharing purposes online. To learn more about the “Sa ‘Pinas, Ikaw ang Ma’am at Sir” (SPIMS) project, the requirements, procedures, and other matters — please visit the official website of the Department of Labor and Employment – National Reintegration Center for OFWs (DOLE-NRCO), or go to the nearest DOLE Regional Office or Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO).