February 3, 2019

The Omnibus Guidelines for 2019 TESDA Scholarship Programs will make it easier for its technical vocational education and training (TVET) graduates to get jobs or have a livelihood after their training.

This is what TESDA Director General, Secretary Isidro S. Lapeña, made clear in his message during the recently concluded “Orientation on the Omnibus Guidelines for 2019 Scholarship Programs” conducted by the agency.

These scholarship programs include the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP), Special Training for Employment Program (STEP), Private Education Student Financial Assistant (PESFA), and the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education (UAQTEA).

The mentioned guidelines were formulated following Lapeña's call that the TESDA scholarship programs must endeavor to increase the chances of TVET scholars to find a job or establish a livelihood after training.

“Gusto ko lang bigyan-diin ang nais ko sanang mangyari sa training programs natin.  It should be training then a job or livelihood after, because that is the purpose of training,” explained Lapeña.

According to Lapeña, whenever he receives requests for scholarship slots, “Sinasabi ko, 'give me the list (pangalan ng estudyante) and the work after'. Kung wala 'yon, I will not consider giving them slots, dahil hindi ma-aachieve ang purpose ng TESDA kung walang trabaho ang mga graduates.”

He also pushes to prioritize those in the less fortunate or less privileged sectors of society to enable them to find gainful employment and consequently raise their standards of living.  This is in line with the agency's slogan, “TESDA, Abot Lahat”. 

“We must win the hearts and minds of the people through TVET as a solution for stamping out poverty.  What TESDA does directly impacts the lives of the people,” according to Lapeña.

To help realize these intentions, the new guidelines cover TVET programs specially those in sectors considered as key employment generators (KEGs) such as Agri-Fishery/Agri-Business/Agro Industrial, Tourism, Information Technology-Business Process Management (IT-BPM), Semi-Conductor and Electronics, Automotive, Logistics, General Infrastructure, and new, emerging and priority areas.

The TESDA Regional Offices (ROs) shall distribute their allocation of funds to the Provincial Offices (POs) based on their PSPs (Provincial Skills Priorities), R/PTESDPs (Regional/Provincial Technical Education and Skills Development Program), KEGs, absorptive capacities of TVIs/enterprises, new and emerging industries, and the latest available labor force participation data of each region and province.

On the other hand, the criteria for selection of TVIs that will be given scholarship slots will include their absorptive capacity, utilization rate and employment rate.  The training program of a certain TVI will need to have an employment rate of at least 60% within a year of graduation.  Reports from the National Inspectorate for Scholarship Program (NISP) will also be among the bases for the granting of slots.

TVIs which have local or international recognition, certification and/or awards (such as the STAR Rating, Asia Pacific Accreditation and Certification Commission (APACC), among others) will be given additional batches of scholars.  Priority will also be given to institutions that have recognized Diploma-level training programs.

TVIs are also obliged to establish industry partnerships to further ensure that their trainees will have jobs after training.

To discourage anomalies and illegal activities, TESDA's ROs and POs will implement stricter monitoring of training programs and trainees' attendance.  Further, TVIs/enterprises, in addition to submitting terminal reports to TESDA, will also need to publish a list of their scholar graduates either in local newspapers or upload the same to their respective websites or social media accounts.

Sanctions will be imposed on violators in accordance with the provisions under TESDA's Unified TVET Program Registration and Accreditation System (UTPRAS) guidelines.