March 14, 2019

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director General Secretary Isidro S. Lapeña lauds the approval of the “Tulong Trabaho Law" or the Republic Act (RA) 11230 which President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law last February 22. 

“It's a leap forward for the country's technical vocational education and training (TVET) system.  This means that we can now empower even more people than before, training with the right skills for the right jobs, bringing this country closer to its goals of sustainable growth and development,” says Lapeña.

RA 11230, or the Act Instituting a Philippine Labor Force Competencies Competitiveness Program and Free Access to Technical-Vocational Education and Training (TVET) establishes the Tulong-Trabaho Fund which provides free training fees and additional financial aid such as transportation allowances of qualified beneficiaries enrolling in selected training programs (STPs).

RA 11230 provides that "All costs to be incurred in undergoing assessment and certification, issuance of national certificates and other documents, administrative and all other procedures required for the completion of the TVET programs under the STPs shall be free of charge to the qualified recipients."

Beneficiaries include individuals at least fifteen years of age who are unemployed, not in education and not in training, and employed workers who intend to develop and expand their current skills and training.

“The next step is to start crafting the implementing rules and regulations for RA 11230.  TESDA, as the authority in TVET, will be leading this, in consultation with stakeholders and may invite concerned agencies such as the Department of Labor and Employment to provide inputs for the smooth implementation of the law,” added the TESDA secretary.

According to RA 11230, "STPs may be school-based, center-based, community-based, enterprise-based or web-based programs."

Industry boards and institutions that need funding for STPs from the Fund may submit their list of trainees who are applying for assistance to the concerned TESDA regional directors who will then assess the recipients for final approval of the TESDA Director General.

These industry boards and institutions will have to ensure that not less than 80% of their beneficiaries of the Tulong-Trabaho Fund pass the Philippine TVET Competency Assessment and Certification System.

The monitoring and review of the law’s implementation as well as the disbursements of the Tulong-Trabaho Fund will be done by a joint congressional oversight committee.

Lapeña also thanked the efforts of the legislators led by Senator Emmanuel “Joel” Villanueva, a foremost supporter of tech-voc and the principal author and sponsor of the measure in the Senate, as well as Cong. Alfred Vargas, Cong. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr., Cong. Sherwin Tugna, and Cong. Bernadette "BH" Herrera-Dy who had authored separate bills on the subject at the House of Representatives.

In 2017, the President also signed RA 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (UAQTEA) which includes free higher education, free TVET, a tertiary-education subsidy and a student-loan program.  The TVET component of the UAQTEA gives students free access to training in state universities and colleges, local universities and colleges, TESDA Technology Institutions (TTIs), and LGU-run training centers that offer TESDA-registered training programs.