October 13, 2023

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Suharto Mangudadatu bared the agency’s accomplishments in improving the tech-voc sector of the country in his first 100 days as its lead.

It can be recalled that Secretary Mangudadatu was appointed by President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. as TESDA Director General last June 6.

“While ensuring the global capacity of Philippine TVET, we must also remain committed to keeping our TVET programs accessible to all Filipinos,” the Secretary said in his speech.

In his term, the agency has devised its new slogan, “Sa TESDA, Lingap Ay Maaasahan.” The new slogan demonstrates TESDA’s stronger advocacy to provide even better access to quality-assured and globally competitive tech-voc to Filipinos and to communicate its aspiration to provide public service with a heart aligned with the administration's brand of governance and leadership, “Bagong Pilipinas.”

Strengthening core processes

Highlighting his 10-point priority agenda, Secretary Mangudadatu assured that TESDA’s programs and services will continue to be aligned with the core businesses of TESDA: Direction Setting, Standards Setting and Systems Development, and Support to TVET Provision.

He also shared that TESDA has remained committed to its quality management with its three core processes such as Standards Development, Program Registration, and Assessment and Certification are ISO 9001:2015 certified.

Likewise, in his first 100 days, the TESDA chief approved the leadership map of the agency for its provincial directors in which experience and “best fit” for the job were considered in the assignment of its directors.

Reaching more Filipinos and Industry 4.0-ready TVET

Committed to reaching more Filipinos through tech-voc, the Secretary also reported that as of September, TESDA has recorded a total of 1,008,059 enrolled and 872,709 graduates of tech-voc courses. Further, 760,180 workers have been assessed and 706,304 certified.

According to the Secretary, the Supporting Innovation in Philippine TVET System (SIPTVETS) project – a loan with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is underway. Under the project 17 innovation centers across the country will be established to modernize the country’s TVET system for a tech-driven job market, improving program quality, and facilities, and empowering trainers.

Moreover, another proof of TESDA’s pursuit of innovation and excellence in TVET is the adoption of the Extended Reality (XR) technology in the implementation of training and assessment. Private companies such as First Balfour, Inc., FELTA Academy, Hytec Power Inc., Lincoln Electric, and TESDA’s Regional Training Center – NCR are few of the early adaptors of XR technology in TVET. 

“This technology promises a more immersive and interactive learning experience for our trainees. I urge more TVET providers to follow the lead of those who have already embraced this technology. Together, let us reshape the landscape of skills development and equip our learners with the tools they need to thrive in a rapidly changing world,”: the TESDA chief noted.

As part of its 29th-anniversary celebration, TESDA, with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), developed and launched the National Technical Education and Skills Development Plan (NTESDP) 2023-2028, the national blueprint for the technical vocational education and training (TVET) sector.

With the theme, “MaGaling at MakaBagong TVET para sa Bagong Pilipinas: TVET as Pathway to Recovery and Social-Economic Transformation,” the NTESDP 2023-2028 embodies the government's commitment to a more inclusive and proactive approach to nurturing a globally competitive workforce while driving economic growth through continuous skilling, reskilling, and upskilling within the framework of lifelong learning.

Strengthened Partnerships

TESDA has also continued to forge partnerships with other government agencies and the private sector to ensure that its training is aligned with what the industry needs. During TESDA’s anniversary celebration, it signed agreements with various private stakeholders to enhance its area-based and demand-driven TVET.

TESDA signed various Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) with the San Miguel Corporation, People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP), Coca-Cola Philippines, and Microsoft Philippines. Likewise, it partnered with the Philippine Constructors Association, Inc. (PCA), the Tourism Industry Board Foundation, Inc. (TIBFI), the IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation, Inc. (SEIPI), and Philippine Cacao Industry Association (PCIA).

Meanwhile, TESDA also signed agreements with other government agencies. These were the Clark Development Corporation (CDC), Department of Tourism (DOT), National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), Department of Justice Parole and Probation Administration (DOJ-PPA) and Government Academe Industry Network, Inc. (GAIN).

International Cooperation and Participation

Since his assumption as TESDA head, Secretary Mangudadatu held various meetings with different foreign embassies here in the country to explore collaboration in TVET and ensure that it is at par with international standards.

The Secretary met with the heads of mission from the embassies of Israel, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, and Nigeria as well as the First Secretary and Labor Attaché of Japan to solidify bilateral partnerships and introduce innovative solutions into the Philippines' TVET landscape. The TESDA chief also met with officials from the International Labour Organization, World Bank, and Colombo Plan Staff College.

Another achievement of TESDA during the Secretary’s first 100 days was its participation at the 13th ASEAN WorldSkills Competition in Singapore, where the country bagged a silver medal and three Medallions for Excellence.

Further, during the closing rites of the 13th ASEAN WorldSkills, TESDA received the ceremonial ASEAN WorldSkills flag from the Chairman of the WorldSkills Singapore Council to officially signal the Philippines’ hosting of the 14th edition of the international skills competition in 2025.

TESDA sa Barangay

Secretary Mangudadatu also highlighted one of the programs in his 10-point priority agenda, the TESDA sa Barangay. According to him, this initiative is part of the agency’s devolution strategy.

“Through the TESDA sa Barangay, we shall engage with the LGUs and expand our services at the grassroots level. The CTECs (Community Training and Employment Coordinators) shall play a key role as the TVET advocate and local catalysts between TESDA and the LGU in responding to the local skills needs and shall serve as essential conduits for technical education and training in the locality,” Secretary Mangudadatu pointed out.

“The TESDA sa Barangay goes beyond mere skills training – it is a catalyst for creating jobs and community enterprises. It is about empowering individuals and improving their quality of life,” he added.

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