TAGUIG CITY – Lawmakers have commended the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for its Covid-19 and agriculture initiatives.
The legislators found satisfaction in the agency’s implementation of its programs.
During the Committee on Appropriations budget deliberation at the House of Representatives for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and TESDA, Batasang Pambansa, Quezon City, last Wednesday, Camarines Sur 3rd District Representative Gabriel Bordado complimented the recently launched Contact Tracing Level II Training Program.
“We commend the TESDA for coming up with this so-called Contact Tracing Training Program. I think this is a very timely program in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
Bordado also asked Lapeña whether the agency has a plan on expanding the said training program.
TESDA eyes mobile laboratories for outreach
The TESDA director general informed the solon the expansion of the Contact Tracing Training Program is already in progress. He added they rolled out the program last week.
“We have an ongoing training here at NCR (National Capital Region). The plan of TESDA is to roll this out throughout the country and all training centers will be involved in this.
“As we know, contact tracing is one of the keys in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, your Honor,” Lapeña replied.
Meanwhile, Aklan 2nd District Representative Ted Haresco took the opportunity to thank the TESDA chief for what he described an outstanding implementation of agriculture training programs in his province.
“I would like to salute General Lapeña for his very profound introduction of development and sustainability in my Province of Aklan. Thank you very much. You are not only teaching the farmers, but monitoring them for three years,” the congressman said.
Lapeña responded that TESDA is planning to improve its services by purchasing mobile laboratory vehicles to reach far villages of the country.
“What we are doing is part of our plan and slogan ‘TESDA Abot Lahat’ and we have been reaching out to the hinterlands. The training center is just for those who are near, but for those who are far, we have to reach out to them. We have requested for funds that will be appropriate for this purpose to give one mobile laboratory vehicle for each province to reach out to the barangays,” he said.
Being the presiding officer of the hearing, House Committee on Appropriation Vice Chairperson and Bukidnon 3rd District Rep. Manuel Zubiri agreed with Haresco’s statement. He assured that TESDA has the committee’s support.
“Definitely, you’re a partner. We need jobs out there and definitely you’re the one that will help us with all the livelihood programs that will help all the people who have lost their jobs as well,” the legislator said.
On the other hand, House Minority Leader and Manila 6th District Rep. Benny Abante also stressed that as an economy prime mover and job-provider, DTI and TESDA should be given real importance by the government.
“DTI and TESDA for that matter are two of the key departments that are needed if we are to sustain our economy. These two agencies are providing jobs and running our economy,” he said.
Strong support from congressmen
As requested by the TESDA, a House Resolution was signed by House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez directing the Department of the Budget and Management (DBM) to release the balances of appropriations and allotments for the TESDA scholarship programs amounting to Php7.5 billion under Republic Act 11465, the General Appropriations Act.
It can be recalled that a part of the agency’s funding was allocated for the national government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) of the government.
Another lawmaker expressed his support to TESDA and asked the committee to increase its 2021 budget.
Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez told the committee that TESDA should have a separate hearing, saying that the agency has always been very important.
“It is one agency that we, in Cagayan De Oro, have really been availing ourselves so that our people, our youth, will be empowered to be able to have income, family, and to be able to have a human dignity of having work. With that, how can we be able to harness our youth for nation-building by empowering them through our training? Only 7 billion pesos? And that is why I should say in the proper time that we should increase the TESDA budget,” he said.
Rodriguez also believes that Lapeña will make sure that TESDA programs are properly implemented.
“Let me tell the successful General Lapeña that I appreciate his work and he has been working very, very hard. He is a no nonsense general. He is going to make sure that we are able to implement this,” he added. (✓)