THE Senate on Thursday approved the proposed P15-billion budget of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), granting the agency’s request for more funding to carry out its legal mandate to provide free access to technical training.
The Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development approved the agency’s P15.1-billion budget request, adding to the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) original spending plan of P11.8 billion.
TESDA said in budget hearings that it needs an additional P3.3 billion to implement the Tulong Trabaho program.
The program was established by Republic Act 11230, or the Tulong Trabaho Act. The law provides for free access to technical vocational education and training (TVET) programs.
TESDA Secretary Isidro S. Lapeña said its P1.5-billion budget request for the Tulong Trabaho program was denied by the DBM pending the completion of the law’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). The law was passed in February, making the IRR overdue, because such rules are required to be issued This is over the 60 days period mandated in the law to establish the guidelines.
“We have come up with the IRR and it was approved by the TESDA board and it was actually published… We have now a draft of the regional guidelines,” he said during the TESDA budget hearing on Thursday.
“We have now submitted the copy of the IRR and it was duly received by the DBM.”
Senator Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva told reporters Thursday that the additional funds requested by TESDA will be an investment but added that more cooperation from industry is needed in order to make the program successful.
“It is important that we have link to the industries which is why TESDA right now has a unit that deals with industry, but I think this is still insufficient… These are the things we need to focus on and we will do our best to (establish) those linkages,” Mr. Villanueva said. — Gillian M. Cortez