The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has delivered skills training nationwide, finishing the year 2019 with millions of tech-voc graduates coupled with intensified services reaching the countryside and neighboring countries in Asia and the Middle East.
A total of 2,185,109 Filipinos completed various free skills training provided by TESDA. Through the collective efforts of the regional, provincial and district offices, institutions of the agency and partner organizations, TESDA accomplished the increased output in trainings through the equitable distribution of scholarship allocations to the training arms of the agency.
2019 also saw the active involvement of TESDA in major government programs with no less than the President Rodrigo Roa Duterte tapping the agency in leading the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) under Executive Order No. 70. The EO establishes the whole-of-nation approach in ending the local insurgency, providing for a national task force to achieve inclusive and sustainable peace and order.
With this, TESDA intensified and expanded its services throughout the countryside. For 2019, a total of 7,930 former rebels and 107,614 indigenous peoples (IPs) and cultural communities were given free skills training. The said trainings have helped 1,992 former rebels and 9,266 IPs find employment and livelihood.
Regional PRLEC in CARAGA and Davao have established enterprise village and convergence store facilities, respectively. Regional PRLE clusters have been very active in delivering various skills training apart from the distribution of related start-up tool kits.
On June 17, 2019, Duterte signed the Executive Order No. 83 which approved the adoption of the National Technical Education and Skills Development Plan (NTESDP) 2018-2022, further affirming TESDA as the authority in technical education and training in the country. The EO encouraged other national government agencies and local government units to adopt and support the NTESDP 2018-2022.
The agency has also expanded its services overseas with its TESDA Overseas Assessment Program in countries where there is a high number of overseas Filipino workers. While this program started in 2014, the year 2019 recorded the highest number of OFWs assessed and certified, numbering to 2,315 and 1,977 OFWs, respectively.
This translates to an 85.40% certification rate. The OFWs who were certified competent were given TESDA National Certificates (NC) and/or Certificates of Competencies. These overseas assessments were done in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong SAR, Jeddah, Riyadh, and Singapore.
This is up by 174% compared to 2018 output and almost equal to the total number of assessed OFWs in the entire five years since the program started. The 2019 output also accounts for 46.33% share of the total number of OFWs assessed and certified since 2014.
In 2019, Lapeña also placed the agriculture as among the priority sectors of the agency in terms of scholarship allocation. “The prioritization of agriculture and agri-related skills training will help the country achieve food security,” Lapeña stressed. As such, 88.32% increase in the 2019 budget allocation for agri trainings was made versus the 2018 budget, resulting in a total of 152,289 TESDA scholars receiving related skills trainings.
TESDA also bolstered its initiatives in the construction sector, the agency’s second highest priority. Some 84,022 individuals were provided construction and construction-related skills training including on-site training in partnership with the construction industry and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
In support of the government’s call for ease of doing business and efficient government service delivery, the agency reduced the process cycle time (PCT) for certain major services of the agency. These include PCT for program registration reduced to three (3) working days from the previous twenty (20) working days. Trainees who passed the assessment can now receive their National Certificates in seven (7) working days compared to the previous processing time of 14 working days. PCT for training regulations has also been reduced using the “Adopt and Adapt” strategy, benchmarking the process with international competency standards and methodologies and at the same time, validating with domestic industry requirements.
“For 2019, we worked hard to improve the institutional capacity of TESDA to deliver services to the public, true to our guiding principle, “TESDA Abot Lahat,” Lapena said.
As such, the agency instituted new guidelines in the distribution of scholarship allocation to strengthen its own TESDA Technology Institutions (TTIs). 132 TESDA administered schools and training institutions were able to implement TESDA scholarship programs in 2019 from only 95 in 2018.
The TTIs also received more than P280-M in Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) funds in 2019 translating to a 163% increase from its 2018 allotment.
Last year, a total of 655 vacant positions were filled, among which are 218 teaching positions. Lapena’s request of 996 additional manpower complement was also approved.
Last year, TESDA also launched the web-based 911TESDA and TESDA mobile app as part of the agency’s innovation initiatives.
911TESDA is a free web-based program linking certified workers and NC holders to job opportunities as well as the general public to household services both provided by partner digital/online service platforms. Meanwhile, the TESDA mobile app is a free application downloadable from Playstore and App store which contains easily accessible information about TESDA services.
“People transacting with the government or seeking basic social services—should do so without difficulty. This is the principle behind these new and innovative projects of TESDA,” Lapeña explained.