April 17, 2018

At least 85 technical vocational institutions (TVIs) nationwide are in "hot water" after they were found to have committed several violations against the implementing guidelines enforcing the scholarship programs of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

This after the agency's National Inspectorate for Scholarship Programs (NISP), during its spot inspections,  found possible corrupt practices among technical-vocational (tech-voc) institutions and training centers with registered TESDA courses from 2017 up to the present.

TESDA Director General Guiling “Gene” A. Mamondiong ordered a separate, newly formed Validation Committee to conduct further investigation into the alleged violations of the 85 TVIs.  He has also sought for the immediate cancellation of these TVIs’ certificates of program registration and the possible filling of appropriate charges against them should the initial findings be confirmed.

“The Validation Committee is tasked to verify the findings of the National Inspectorate for the Scholarship (NISP) starting 16 April 2018 to 30 April 2018 and shall submit a report thereto with its recommendation on 07 May 2018,” said Mamondiong.

The five-man Validation Committee is led by Director Angelina M. Carreon, Director lll, Planning Office and, as directed by Mamondiong, will be supported by the concerned TESDA regional and provincial/district offices.

In a report submitted by NISP Project Team under Dir. John D. Simborios, the closure of 43 TVIs and the cancellation of TESDA program registration for 42 others were recommended.

Of these TVIs recommended for closure, four are located in the National Capital Region (NCR); Cordillera Region (CAR), two ; Region 3, 21; Region lV-A, 12; Region X, three; and Region 1, one.

Among the 42 TVIs that have been warned, one is located in the NCR; CAR, two; Region l, four; Region ll, two; Region lll, 11; Region lV-A, 7; Region V and Vl, one; Region Vll, four; Region X, six; Region Xl, two; and Region Xll, one.

TESDA also said that 467 more TVIs will still have to undergo "spot inspection" to determine their compliance to the implementation guidelines of the scholarship program.  The agency's NISP said it hopes to finish the inspection by April 30.

The violations committed by the TVIs include hard-to-locate or erroneous school addresses; unreported change of location; unauthorized collection of fees; no students in attendance; and, unreported closure of the program or training center.

Simborios said that it is important to safeguard the funds and ensure their proper utilization, especially as these have been allocated for the poor through the TESDA scholarship grants.

On February 1, 2017, Mamondiong formed the NISP to ensure that government funds for the scholarship program channeled through private vocational training centers are being utilized in accordance with the rules of TESDA.

Apart from this, TESDA also conducted a technical audit among TVIs from 2016 up to the present.  A report on the audit showed that 18,288  scholarship programs or courses have been audited.  Of these, 10,637 TVIs were found to be compliant with TESDA regulations, 572 were reported to have violated these regulations and 773 have been delisted.

On Aug. 30, 2017, coinciding with the 23rd anniversary of TESDA, Mamondiong declared in front of President Rodrigo Duterte that TESDA is free from drugs and corruption.

Mamondiong also announced that the agency is ready to give a Php 50,000 reward to anyone who could provide substantial information of any corrupt practices being committed within TESDA or any of its institutions.