28 December 2020 

TAGUIG CITY - The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) plans to continue on its projects and programs implemented this year 2020.

In his Christmas message, TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña vowed that the agency will remain steadfast in performing its mandate and helping the Filipino people overcome this pandemic.

When the COVID-19 virus started to spread in the country, Lapeña immediately ordered every TESDA Regional and Provincial Office to assist our frontline workers in hospitals, local government units, and checkpoints.

The agency has produced and distributed more than 443,000 face masks, 40,000 face shields, 10,000 protective body suits, 1,200 pairs of goggles, and 17,800 liters of sanitizers and disinfectants to our uniformed personnel and healthcare professionals.

TESDA has also aided the victims of natural disasters and calamities this year. After the Taal volcano eruption, 946 affected individuals were given short-term skills training and 4,254 families from various evacuation centers were given relief packs. The agency also extended assistance to the typhoon-hit areas where 4,142 individuals received 5,010 assorted food packs and 9,154 baked products from the agency.  In addition, TESDA's on-site feeding programs benefited 7,003 individuals and provided temporary shelters to several families.

Despite the disruptions brought by the pandemic, the agency was able to implement TESDA's regular scholarship programs, resulting in the enrollment of 568,694 individuals; 557,850 graduates; 440,122 assessed; and 413,312 certified graduates. Around 4,629 of the graduates are Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

It was the result of strengthening the capacity of the TESDA Online Program (TOP) which made 661,375 learners complete their online courses since the beginning of this year registering a total of 1,196,522 individuals from March 16 to Dec 15.

The TOP also became the means for 97, 883 OFWs or their dependents, to help them get back on their feet by learning new skills online.

This year, TESDA was able to establish 59 Provincial Training Centers on the different parts of the country with the help and active participation of Local Government Units (LGUs) and two (2) Regional Training Centers in Region XII and the National Capital Region (NCR).

Secretary Lapeña shared that among TESDA’s long-term plan is the establishment of a provincial training center in every province.

“I'm glad that the local government units are very supportive to TESDA as most of the lands where these provincial training centers are constructed are either donated or under usufruct agreement.” he said.

The TESDA Chief also emphasized that the creation of RTC in the NCR has long been overdue. 

“Aside from being one of most populous regions in the country, the NCR is also home to various types of industries and businesses, and so we have to be able to meet the demands of the industries for skilled workers and cater the training needs of our kababayan who would like to upskill themselves,” he added

TESDA’s active participation in the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) as the lead agency of its Poverty Reduction, Livelihood, and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) was recognized as the “best cluster.”

During its anniversary, TESDA was able to identify villages all over the country to simultaneously implement 143 Barangay Development Programs.

Before this year ends, Lapeña emphasized that TESDA will implement more barangay development programs in other geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas of the country.

He shared that the agency will continue to work in the Year 2021 to establish additional Innovation Centers in key areas, such as NCR and Davao City after opening one in Cebu City this year.

This year, TESDA was able to develop a mission critical information system that will automate the processing of scholarship programs.

“We are planning to roll out this system during the first quarter of Year 2021 to make the implementation of our scholarship programs more efficient,” Lapeña said.

The TESDA Chief has been planning to use artificial intelligence in monitoring attendance of scholars and to strengthen its partnerships with industries to review training regulations and enhance enterprise-based training.

"All of these are already included in our program pipeline for the Year 2021 and we are planning to do more in-order to empower our kababayans who are in the far-flung areas. Before this year ends, we would like to thank our partners both in the government and private sectors, other PRLEC member-agencies, our TESDA Technology and Technical-Vocational Institutions, and other TESDAns. Together, we will accomplish and help more kababayans next year," Lapeña said.