A SENATOR has filed a resolution that seeks to assess the readiness of agencies rolling out the free technical vocational livelihood (TVL) program for senior high school (SHS) students.

“We funded the certification of our senior high school graduates who took the TVL track to raise the possibility of them getting decent jobs,” Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, who filed Senate Resolution No. 935, said in a statement in Filipino. “We want to know if the funds can be used properly to help our Grade 12 TVL graduates.”

Under this year’s national budget, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has P438.16 million to assess SHS students taking the TVL track before they get certified. The initiative aims to benefit 420,900 Grade 12 TVL graduates.

The senator also wants to look into the Department of Education’s (DepEd) implementation of the program, citing low certification rates of 25.7% for TVL graduates during the 2019-2020 school year, and only 6.8% in 2020 to 2021.

He said the low rates were due to the high costs of national certification, at about P1,009 per student.

Despite the low certification rate, 98% of the students who took the TVL assessments in 2019 to 2020 and 97% of those who took the same in 2020 to 2021 passed.

The International Labor Organization and the United Kingdom supported a skills development program in the country called the Skills for Prosperity Programme in the Philippines (SfP). The four-year program, which started in November 2019, offered industry-responsive technical vocational education and training (TVET) to underprivileged communities. — John Victor D. Ordoñez