Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman has affirmed the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s commitment to fostering education and holistic skills development for Filipino youth by allocating P15.2 billion for various programs offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) next year.

Secretary Pangandaman stressed that, alongside strengthening the economy, the government will likewise invest heavily in human capital development through education.

“Access to quality education will also be at the forefront of the government’s education agenda through the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education (UAQTE),” the Secretary said.

In his Budget Message, President Bongbong Marcos underscored the importance of addressing the issue of jobs and skills mismatch, while providing comprehensive training and education in emerging sectors is crucial in elevating the qualifications of the Filipino workforce.

“By implementing targeted programs and initiatives, we can bridge the gap between job requirements and workers’ skills by equipping them with the necessary expertise to thrive in evolving industries,” the President emphasizsed.

“As the country’s economy continues to recover and the need for more skilled workers continues to rise, it is crucial to retrain, reskill, and retool our workforce,” he added.

Furthermore, the Budget Secretary specified that an allocation of P3.4 billion will be dedicated directly to TESDA’s Free Technical-Vocational Education and Training initiative, which forms part of the UAQTE program and will benefit approximately 38,179 enrollees and 10,126 graduates. 

Meanwhile, another P200 million in education assistance will be funneled towards the Private Educational Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) program to provide training fees and allowances for 9,708 students and 8,737 graduates. 

In line with the strategy to modernize the Philippine Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system, a significant budget of P1.8 billion is earmarked for the Supporting Innovation in the Philippine Technical and Vocational Education and Training System (SIPTVETS) program.

Deemed as an effective alternative in responding to the progressively globalized, technology-centric, and knowledge-driven market, the SIPTVETS program is intended to align the preparedness of the Filipino workforce, particularly the mid-level sector, to international competitiveness. 

The latest initiative by the TESDA, the SIPTVETS program, aims at not only enhancing the quality of local skills training programs and augmenting training facilities and equipment, but also building the capacity of trainers to cultivate advanced skills and competencies, thereby meeting the requisites of the contemporary job market.

Training for Work Scholarship Program 

An additional P3.2 billion has been allocated to fund the Training for Work Scholarship program. This initiative is designed to offer targeted skills training, aimed at addressing gaps in knowledge and fulfilling the necessary job requirements identified by priority industries and sectors. 

The program is poised to make instrumental contributions in addressing employment demands and alleviating poverty. 

The Training for Work Scholarship program has set its sights on empowering approximately 147,990 students, with an anticipated graduation rate of 133,191 individuals. This reflects the program’s level of commitment and dedication to capacity-building and sustainable development.

Special Training for Employment Program

To address the pervasive issue of poverty within the informal sector, TESDA is committed to launching a strategic initiative known as the Special Training for Employment Program. This initiative is designed to offer not only expert training but also viable employment opportunities.

In order to facilitate the effective implementation of this initiative, a considerable sum of approximately P1.3 billion has been allocated. This substantial funding will be primarily utilized to cover the allowance stipends and provide starter toolkits for the anticipated 47,664 program enrollees, as well as the 42,897 prospective graduates. The endeavor is aimed to bolster hands-on vocational skills, fostering economic self-sufficiency amongst the associated demography.

Tulong Trabaho Scholarship Program

The Tulong Trabaho scholarship initiative, a program devised to combat unemployment and discrepancies in job skills, has been allocated a budget of P1 billion. This program provides Selected Training Programs (STPs) to the expected 48,653 program enrollees and 43,787 potential graduates.

This scholarship program was brought into existence through Republic Act No. 11230. The key aim of this legislation is to adopt more inventive strategies in TVET, intricately aligned with the industry’s specific demands and requirements. – PR