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Following President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s call to upskill workers and diversify their skills, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is set to resume the conduct of its Overseas Assessment Program (OAP) to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
After suspending the program due to the pandemic, TESDA will once again bring its services to OFWs in Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia on June 22-30, and in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on July 2-6 after a pilot implementation of the program in South Korea last June 4.
The resumption of the OAP is in response to the requests of various training institutions in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and other parts of Asia.
According to the TESDA Director General, Secretary Suharto T. Mangudadatu, Ph.D., the program provides free assessment services where OFWs can validate and certify their competencies acquired through prior training or work experience.
Over 1,000 OFWs with various qualifications such as Caregiving NC II, Massage Therapy NC II, Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC II and NC III, and Photovoltaic Systems Installation NC II will be assessed.
“Our OFWs who are in need to be certified for job retention, promotion, or for other job opportunities do not need to go back to the Philippines just to be assessed and certified because TESDA will bring its services to our OFWs,” Mangudadatu said.
The OAP will be implemented with the help of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) through its Migrant Workers Office (MWO) and the Overseas Workers and Welfare Administration (OWWA).
According to data, from 2014 to 2019, TESDA assessed a total of 4,996 OFWs, particularly in the Middle East, in which, 4,136 were certified as skilled workers.
One of them is Ms. Marites Dorado who was certified in Massage Therapy NC II. She used to earn Php37,000 as a household worker in Saudi Arabia but after getting her National Certificate, she is currently earning almost Php150,000 per month as a freelance massage therapist.
Another beneficiary is Ms. Marlinda Talavera who took the assessment for Caregiving NC II in 2019. After being certified, she used her National Certificate to apply as a caregiver in Israel after being a personal assistant in Jeddah. She was able to fund the renovation of her mother’s house through her earnings.
“Our OFWs have always been among TESDA’s priority clients. Through the Overseas Assessment Program, we shall uplift the employment and livelihood of our OFWs through TESDA certification. It is the aim of the program to ensure that OFWs are provided with better opportunities,” Mangudadatu added. (✓)