MESSAGE OF SECRETARY ISIDRO S. LAPE√ĎA, PhD, CSEE

1ST GENERAL DIRECTORATE CONFERENCE

March 6-7, 2020 | TESDA Auditorium, Taguig City

Magandang umaga!

I welcome everyone here today to this year’s 1st General Directorate Conference, special mention to the newly designated Acting Provincial Directors and Acting School Administrators. 

First, i would like to thank the Regional Operations Management Office, headed by Director-in-Charge Angelina Carreon, for preparing this conference. 

With us today are DTI Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba and ADB Technology and Innovation Specialist Sameer Khatiwada who will share with us their expertise on the TVET sector, industry and investments. On behalf of all TESDAns in this hall, thank you very much for accepting our invitation. We appreciate your presence here today.  Your insights will certainly help us in our goal to effectively deliver our plans, targets and strategies for this year. 

During our last GDC in 2019, I have mentioned a huge number of TESDA’s new policies, innovation and accomplishments. With our shared commitment and vision, we were able to significantly made a difference to all many of our kababayans nationwide and even overseas. With your cooperation and support, we were able to achieve good outcomes in the programs we have instituted. From the bottom of my heart, please know that I sincerely appreciate all your efforts to continuously extend our services to our countrymen. 

May I share with you, that as early as the first quarter, we were able to conduct dialogues with our partners from Mindanao and Luzon.  The dialogues gave the private TVIs the opportunity to air their issues while TESDA also had the venue to shed light and relay to them the right information in response to their concerns.  From those dialogues and from what they shared with us, there seems to be miscommunication somewhere. Based on their interpretation of some of our policies, it would show that the information they receive are not clearly communicated. For example, many of our partners are still not aware of our relaxed guidelines on industry work experience required or IWER.  Misinformation is happening somewhere. 

The Luzon and Mindanao forum have proven that open lines of communication are the keys to a more harmonious working relationship.  An open dialogue is always beneficial to all parties concerned. There is a need to do this on a regular basis so we can have a venue to thresh out any issues or clarify any concerns.  And so, the Visayas forum should really take place as soon as possible. The Central Office will organize a National TVET Forum after our dialogue with our partners from the Visayas.  The Zonal and National TVET Forums will now be part of our regular activities.  

Earlier, I made special mention of our newly designated Provincial Directors and School Administrators.  We will continue searching and selecting the right people to do the job right.  This is done to ensure we make our operations more efficient and effective.  As our leaders on the ground, you are assured that adequate manpower support will be provided. More or less 90% of the 996 additional plantilla will be given to the Regional and Provincial Offices and to the TESDA Technology Institutions (ROPOTIs).

And so we should really fast-track our hiring and promotion.  I call on the attention of the Regional Directors, because based on our data, 66% of the vacancies are under the authority of the regional offices to process. 

Before we direct our attention to the series of presentations from our officers starting today until tomorrow, please allow me to share to you the good news that TESDA has been awarded by the Professional Regulation Commission with the Certificate of Accreditation as Continuing Professional Development provider.  This is one of the requests of our trainers during my field visits.

At this point, let me stress, once again, our priority thrusts for this year. Our guiding principle, “TESDA Abot Lahat” shall remain as our guide in how we do things and when we formulate new policies, initiatives and programs.

We will continue strengthening our efforts in reaching out to our kababayan in the far-flung areas, and strengthen our partnerships with the industries to upskill and enhance the skilled workers and professionals. We continue carrying out our two-pronged strategy: TVET for social equity and poverty reduction, and TVET for global competitiveness.

Our top priority is still the agriculture sector, receiving 25% of our scholarship allocation. I again appeal for your aggressive response on this matter.  We have in our hands the task of providing skills trainings for our kababayan who can make our vast agricultural lands more productive. With 700 million budget allocation from Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), on top of our budget for scholarship programs, there is a lot of work to be done and expectations to be met. Just yesterday, I joined the first anniversary celebration of the Rice Tarrification Law.  I reported that for 2019, we were able to train more than 12,000 scholar-farmers and we are targeting more than a hundred thousand trainees for this year. 

Moreover, Region XI’s promising AGAK or “Amoma ug Giya Alang sa Kahamugaway” Center is now benefiting many locals, especially the indigenous peoples and cultural communities and former rebels.

As the chair of the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster, I encourage you to replicate this project in your respective areas. 

We will still observe the equitable distribution of scholarship allocation.  All TTIs including the new Provincial Training Centers and Provisional Provincial Training Teams must be given their 100% absorptive capacity so they can upgrade and improve their facilities.

I am also directing our Regional Directors and Provincial Directors to lead their respective offices in the continuous establishment of training centers and innovation centers which shall provide the state-of-the-art learning system for our scholars. 

Together, let us continue working to institute mechanisms and measures that will promote and improve TVET integrity.

Lastly, may I inform everyone that I have delegated back the signing authority of the disbursement vouchers of regions CAR, NCR, Caraga, 1, 2, 3, 4A, 4B, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. I am happy that I have almost delegated back the signing authority to almost all of the regions, last Monday EXECOM. Congratulations everyone. Let us give them a big round of applause.  

I hope that we will have a productive conference ahead. Maraming salamat at mabuhay po tayong lahat.

Back to Speeches