Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Isidro Lapeña bared the agency’s accomplishments under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
“Over the years, the men and women of TESDA worked with such dedication to ensure that we perform our mandate – to provide relevant, accessible, high quality, and efficient technical education and skills development to the Filipino people, not just during ordinary days, but even during the most difficult times,” Lapeña said during the Duterte Legacy Summit held at Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City last May 31.
Lapeña emphasized that the “TESDA Abot Lahat” guiding principle had pushed the agency to make tech-voc training accessible to more Filipinos especially those who are living in the far-flung areas.
Filipinos receive skills training and land jobs
From 2016 up to April 2022, a total of 11,609,297 Filipinos have enrolled in various TESDA courses, of which, 10,775,147 have finished their respective courses. Further, 7,798,474 were assessed and 7,241,944 were certified as skilled workers.
Lapeña also shared the high employment rate of tech-voc graduates for the past six years. Based on TESDA’s Study on the Employment of TVET Graduates (SETG), the employment rate of tech-voc graduates were 71.87% in 2017; 68.58% in 2018; and 84.15% in 2019.
Further, despite the pandemic, the employment rate of TVET graduates rose to 78.57% in 2021 compared to 70.51% in 2020.
The TESDA Online Program (TOP), on the other hand, was strengthened amid the pandemic. The TOP received 3,230,483 registrants and 3,634,287 enrollees from 216 up to April 2022. Currently, there are 141 courses available in Healthcare, Tourism, 21st Century Skills, Electrical and Electronics, Entrepreneurship, and Agriculture among others.
Reaching more people
TESDA has been establishing additional training and innovation centers to provide more skills training and livelihood programs to Filipinos. It is during the Duterte administration that TESDA has established 63 additional training centers in the different provinces in the country.
More so, the first Regional Training Center (RTC) in the National Capital Region (NCR) was established.
Likewise, TESDA has also started the construction of Regional TVET Innovation Centers (RTICs) nationwide which will be a venue for innovations and entrepreneurial learning.
Three RTICs were established in Regions VII, VIII and IX while more will be established in Regions I, II, III, XI and NCR. Further, five more RTICs in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Regions IV-A, IV-B, V, and VI were funded already.
These RTICs are equipped with supplies and materials suited for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).
Meanwhile, TESDA, as chair of the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) has been going to far-flung communities in the country to empower its residents through livelihood and other skills training.
Lapeña shared the TESDA-led PRLEC has served a total of 822 barangays that were identified as priority barangays. Most of these are in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs).
He also cited the Project TALA (TESDA Alay ay Liwanag at Asenso) in Region XII as among the noteworthy intervention the agency has provided in remote communities. Through the project, training on photovoltaic system installation, bulbs and solar panels were given for the benefit of indigenous people in Region XII.
Automation of scholarship registration
Lapeña also shared that TESDA is leaning towards automation of the agency’s frontline services. Among those programs is the implementation of the Biometric-enabled Scholarship Registration System (BSRS).
This system aims to improve the integrity in the implementation of scholarship programs. Trainers and scholars shall enroll and register their attendance in their classes through the BSRS.
Last April, the agency announced the nationwide rollout of the BSRS after the pilot implementation done in select institutions in NCR and CAR.
Testimonial from a scholar
One of the beneficiaries of TESDA’s scholarship program, Esperanza Corazon Gastala, a former OFW in Dubai, shared that she took Bread and Pastry NC II in Passi Trade School in Iloilo in 2019. Currently, she is running an online bakeshop and is now a TVET trainer in a Technical Vocational Institution (TVI).
Gastala thanked the Duterte administration, specifically TESDA for the skills training it provided which opened a lot of opportunities for her.
“Dahil po kay TESDA, binigyan n’ya po ako isang pagkakataon na makasama ko ang aking pamilya dahil sa mahabang panahon ay nagging isang OFW sa Dubai,” she said, adding that she does not need to go abroad to find employment opportunities.
Meanwhile, Lapeña noted that TESDA has played a vital role in upskilling and reskilling of Filipinos particularly during the pandemic. TESDA, he said, should continue upgrading its programs and services to be able to keep up and produce graduates with the right competencies.
“The President’s campaign promise of free TVET has been instrumental in equipping millions of Filipinos with the right skills for a job or livelihood after their training,” the TESDA Chief said. (TESDA)