January 20, 2019

Technical-vocational students under the Dual Training System (DTS) will now receive their daily allowances in full from the companies where they are currently undergoing the in-plant training portion of their studies.

This allowance is equivalent to 75 of the prevailing minimum wage.

This is among the major changes included in the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the DTS that was recently approved by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Board headed by TESDA Director General, Secretary Isidro S. Lapeña.

Lapeña explained that under the previous DTS IRR, of the total allowance given by partner industries for trainees, only 30% is received by the trainees while the institution retains the remaining 70% balance for their operational expenses.

“Ngayon hindi na. Pagbigay ng establishment ng allowance, direct nang ibibigay ng school ‘yon nang buo sa estudyante,” said Lapeña.

According to Lapeña, the primary reasons for revising the DTS IRR are so that more industries will be encouraged to participate in DTS implementation, and to make provisions within the IRR more suitable to recent changes and developments.

“Dahil 25 years na ang DTS, may mga probisyon na hindi na nababagay sa kasalukuyang panahon. Kaya binago natin ito upang maging relevant, naaangkop, at para marami tayong mahikayat na lumahok (na mga employers) sa DTS,” explained the TESDA chief.

Through this, the employability of tech-voc graduates will be improved, increasing their chances to find jobs and other livelihood opportunities after training.

The DTS Law (R 7686) was signed into law in 1994 by the then President Fidel V. Ramos.

Under the DTS training modality, tech-voc trainees receive instructions and training from both the school and their partner companies. Theoretical training is done in-school while practical training is done in-plant, within the company's workshops.

Currently in the country, there are about 100 institutions implementing DTS programs along with some 300 private partner companies.

Also among the changes in the revised DTS IRR are the following:

The training hours for DTS are now adjustable, depending on agreements between the school and its partner company. The previous IRR required trainees to stay in-school 40% of the time, with the remaining 60% to be spent with the company. Under the revised DTS IRR, in-plant training hours can be adjusted for trainees to spend more time within the company.

Graveyard shifts are now disallowed. Normal daily training hours are limited to 8 hours, anytime between 6 am and 10 pm, following complaints that some companies required their trainees to report later in the evening.

DTS programs are now covered by TESDA's scholarship programs.

A DTS training plan must be jointly prepared by the institution and its partner company in consultation with the latter's labor union. To prevent abuse, this training plan must be submitted accompanied by the list of students for which it will be used.

DTS implementation is open to all technical vocational institutions (TVIs) that currently have TESDA-registered programs.

“Lahat ng TVIs na may registered program ay maaari nang mag-apply ng DTS accreditation,” according to TESDA's Partnerships and Linkages Office Floramel Joy Songsong.

Unlike before where only institutions award certificates upon completion of training, companies are now required to give trainees a certificate of dual training.

Institutions implementing DTS programs will also be subject to a yearly TESDA compliance audit.

The revised DTS IRR comes opportunely for the implementation of TESDA's scholarship programs to be more in line with the directions set by Secretary Lapeña.

Since he took over as TESDA head, he emphasized the need for the agency's scholarship programs not only to focus on providing training but also to help ensure that trainees will be able to find work or to engage in livelihood activities after their graduation.

According to him, “Medyo mahirap at mangangailangan ito nang ‘extra effort’ pero ang ating iniisip ay kung paano tayo makakatulong sa mga kababayan nating mga mahihirap.”

With DTS, since schools are joined by their partners companies to provide training, the chances for trainees to be absorbed by the company where they receive instructions are increased.

“Ang assumption, dahil ang industriya ang nagsabi na ganito ang kailangan na pagdaanan ng trainees, kapag natapos nila ang training, mas akma ang natutunan nila sa pangangailangan ng industriya, kaya malaki ang posibilidad na maeempleyo sila,” added Lapeña.

Because of this, job mismatch in technical vocational education and training can be reduced.