Press Release
June 19, 2020

Villanueva asks gov't to restore TESDA's scholarship fund to train workers for in-demand jobs, sustain economic recovery

Senator Joel Villanueva has urged the government to restore the funding of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority's (TESDA) scholarship programs to help displaced workers become more employable despite the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, Villanueva explained that the agency's capacity to provide training for displaced workers and OFWs was severely hampered when about P2.3 billion of its budget under the 2020 general appropriations act was realigned for the national government's COVID-19 response under the Bayanihan law.

"Mas mabilis at madali po sana ang pagbangon ng ating mga manggagawang nawalan ng trabaho kung may kakayahan ang TESDA na magbigay ng training para sa mga in-demand na trabaho," said Villanueva, chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development. "Sa panahon natin ngayon mas kailangan ang tech-voc upang i-ahon ang ating mga manggagawa sa kanilang sitwasyon."

"Kailangan pong maibalik ang pondo ng TESDA upang matulungan ang ating mga manggagawa, lalo na ang mga OFW na nawalan ng hanapbuhay at mga online seller na dumidiskarte sa ating panahon ngayon. Isa po ang tech-voc training sa mga mabisang sandata ng gobyerno laban sa problema sa kawalan ng trabaho," added the lawmaker who served as TESDA Secretary for five years.

Villanueva sought to restore the agency's funding through the Bayanihan 2 bill, placing P1 billion for its scholarship programs. The proposed measure, which hurdled the second reading in the Upper Chamber, was highly anticipated to receive a priority certification from the executive, but did not push through just as Congress adjourned sine die on June 5.

He also appealed to the finance and budget departments to allocate more funding to help TESDA technology institutes (TTI) to purchase the appropriate ICT equipment and software to be able to adequately and effectively deliver blended learning in light of the new normal.

Aside from the procurement of equipment and software to enable the delivery of blended learning in TTIs, TESDA likewise needs to build up the capacity of its trainers by training them to use learning management systems, and purchasing the necessary tools such as laptops.

"The shift to blended learning delivery entails a lot of cost, but rather than seeing it as an expense, our government should look at it as an investment for our workers. After all, it is our workers who will jumpstart and sustain our economic recovery," Villanueva pointed out. "The welfare of our workers should be in the top three priorities of our government."

News Latest News Feed