22 February 2021
TAGUIG CITY – A total of 99,711 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their dependents registered in the TESDA Online Program (TOP) and around 31,435 have completed their courses through the Technical Education and Skills Development’s (TESDA) “TESDA Abot Lahat ang OFWs” program.

It was after TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña led the launch of the said program in June last year even before President Rodrigo Duterte, through his state-of-the-nation-address, issued a directive for the agency to help upskill OFWs who are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The directive of President Duterte pushed TESDA to establish OFW desks in every TESDA Provincial and Regional Office and to designate a TESDA personnel to make sure that their special concerns are directly addressed by the agency.

Lapeña also made sure that TESDA Malasakit Helpdesks deployed inside international airports where OFWs can register in person or lodge their concerns are operational.

By strengthening the TOP, TESDA was able to accommodate 1,238,522 users registered to the TOP within the period from March 16, 2020 to December 31, 2020.  The accumulated total number of users from 2012 now reached 2,675,129.

After his virtual consultation with the OFW international community last year, the TESDA Chief immediately ordered to add a special feature in the existing TESDA mobile app where OFWs can register to avail the agency’s skills training or competency assessment services.

Despite the pandemic, TESDA was also able to train 715, 158 Filipinos and certified 462, 189 individuals as skilled workers under its regular scholarship programs. 5, 408 of them are OFWs who have finished their training.

Secretary Lapeña emphasized that "TESDA Abot Lahat ang OFWs" does not end in skills training, but also helps OFWs in pursuing employment and other means of livelihood.
"We, in TESDA, always try to be more responsive to the needs of our kababayans. In the case of our repatriated OFWs, we make our services more accessible and we train them to be equipped enough for new jobs or livelihood so they can continue to provide for their families even after they lost their jobs overseas," he said.

Lapeña also noted that the relationship of the agency with the OFWs have improved further since his first consultation with them making it beneficial for both TESDA and the "modern-day heroes".

In fact, the TESDA chief shared that the agency recently recognized the efforts of 36 OFWs from the United Arab Emirates who have undergone 40-hour training on Scaffolding Works lnspection Level lll for 13 working days from August 2020 to Dec 2020.

The training, which is currently in demand abroad, was held in full online delivery mode and was facilitated by trainer Engr. Crisuaro R. Fallar ll, a former OFW himself.

Fallar and TESDA Deputy Director General Lina Sarmiento met in a virtual meeting with the United Filipino Global, an international OFW community headed by Ms. Gemma Sotto. 

Sarmiento invited Fallar to develop the said training program with TESDA to make it available and accessible here in the country.

The training was also made possible by the TESDA Korea - Philippines Vocational Training Center in Davao City where Fallar is based, in coordination with the Office of the Regional Director of TESDA XI.

TESDA continues to consult various OFW organizations to further improve the agency’s programs for them.

“It is our aim to provide enhancement and capability training for all OFWs, whether you are here in the country, or in your respective work assignments overseas. This training is intended to make you more productive and efficient in your work,” Secretary Lapeña stated in his message during the virtual graduation ceremony. ###