28.2 C
Philippines
Monday, April 22, 2024

1:20 AM

28.2 C
Philippines
Monday, April 22, 2024

1:20 AM

Villanueva pins importance of training to help displaced workers find jobs in ‘new normal’

Senator Joel Villanueva underscored the pivotal role of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the government’s efforts to get millions of unemployed Filipinos back to work after suffering job loss during the pandemic.

Villanueva, chair of the Senate labor committee, said TESDA’s proposed P14.5-billion budget for next year was crucial in providing more scholarship grants to people in search of better lives, especially the youth who are entering the Philippine job market every year.

“For the most part of this hearing, we talked about data and numbers, which are really very abstract. But I invite you to look into the positive impact of TESDA on each and every graduate who’s able to find a job,” said Villanueva. “In the same manner that I invite you to look at the lost opportunities for every Filipino who missed tech-voc training and employment opportunities due to COVID restrictions and underutilization of scholarship funds.”

“It bears repeating that TESDA will be the backbone of our economic recovery. You are the ‘heart’ of the National Employment Recovery Strategy or NERS which needs all the support it can get,” continued Villanueva, whose performance as director general of TESDA earned him the moniker TESDAMAN. “I will be the first to help you in the tech-voc sector.”

Villanueva pointed out that one of the objectives indicated in the NERS’ 8-Point Employment Recovery Agenda is to “promote retooling and upskilling of workers,” which includes all the agency’s scholarship programs.

Villanueva also cited the seemingly slow pace of filling up nearly 500,000 scholarship slots under the current year budget. The lawmaker sought from TESDA a catch-up plan for the agency to fill up 333,919 scholarship slots as of September 30, 2021, considering that the agency was able to enroll 158,966 scholars in the first nine months of the year, or about 43 percent.

The lawmaker also quizzed TESDA officials on the implementation of the Tulong Trabaho Scholarship Program, which was established under Republic Act No. 11230 or the Tulong Trabaho Act which Villanueva is principal author and sponsor.

The law provides free access to technical-vocational education based on the prevailing demands of the job market, explained Villanueva.

Villanueva reminded TESDA director general Isidro Lapeña about the importance of the agency’s budget next year because “this is the budget to get millions of Filipinos back on their feet after suffering job loss during the pandemic.”