House members on Monday supported a bigger budget for the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to enable the agency to provide more scholarships and skills training for the youth, especially those in the provinces.
During the plenary budget deliberation on TESDA’s proposed budget of P24 billion for skills training of 1.5 million Filipinos, Minority Floor Leader Danilo Suarez moved to add P1 billion to the TESDA funding.
The TESDA budget for this year is P6.9 billion.
“Mr. Speaker, I would like to manifest by the power of Congress to appropriate, in our power to reduce or increase the budget, I move to increase the budget of TESDA by P1 billion,” said Suarez.
Suarez said the TESDA scholarship program is laudable, but the only problem is that it has a limited budget.
He said the only way to increase the country’s share in the world labor market is to become globally competitive through proper skills training and development.
During the interpellation, Suarez noticed that there is a huge cut of 19.09 percent or P150 million in the TESDA capital outlay under the agency’s proposed budget.
“Who cut your capital outlay?” Suarez asked.
Rep. Mark Aeron Sambar (Party-list, PBA), who sponsored the TESDA’s budget, said that the capital outlay was cut by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
“According to the DBM, the previous capital outlay was cut because the previous programs have ended. So for 2018, the recommended budget of P121.819 million is allocated as follows: Infrastructure, P20 million building and structure, P60 million; machineries and equipment, P24.219 million; and transportation equipment, P17.6 million,” said Sambar.
Sambar said there is a huge demand for skilled workers worldwide. The returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) may go to the TESDA’s provincial, district or regional offices, or any technical vocational institutions with TESDA-registered programs, he said.
“All regions have one office each. TESDA is represented in all the regions in the country, said Sambar.
He said they may also avail of free training under the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) and the Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) of the agency.
Sambar further said that TESDA’s training programs are available throughout the year on various courses that are mostly demanded by industries.
Rep. Emmi de Jesus (Party-list, Gabriela) said that TESDA should monitor the target scholars in the barangays and TESDA district and regional offices, and those who apply online. It should also monitor those currently covered by TESDA’s skills training program, she said.
“Gusto ko malaman ang percentage ng nakakakuha ng trabaho at ilan dito ang lumalabas ng bansa para doon magtrabaho at mino-monitor ba ito ng TESDA?” De Jesus said.
Sambar said there is a 66.2 percent employment rate after graduation from tech-voc institutions. Of the 66.2 percent, 4.5 percent of graduates go abroad to look for tech-voc jobs, he said.
“TESDA has a monitoring system called the Impact Evaluation Survey which is done a year after graduation of trainees,” said Sambar. / EAG | HOR-PR