April 4, 2019

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Thursday, April 4 has launched the scholarship program dubbed “Tsuper Iskolar” intended for jeepney drivers and other stakeholders under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

TESDA Director General Secretary Isidro Lapeña and DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade led the “Tsuper Iskolar” kick-off at the Sison Auditorium in Lingayen, Pangasinan where they met some 900 PUV drivers who have been identified as among the initial beneficiaries of the said scholarship program.

It can be recalled that TESDA and DOTr signed on December 11 last year the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Stakeholder Support Mechanism Component under the PUVMP.

In particular, this component provides for the training and social assistance for those stakeholders that may be affected under the PUVMP.

The TESDA chief said, “Stakeholders from the transportation sector, especially the PUV drivers are now assured of the needed assistance in the form of free skills training as the DOTr implements the PUV Modernization Program. There should be no room for anyone in the sector to worry about being disenfranchised as the PUV sector is modernized.”

Under the MOA, a budgetary appropriation of P 350-million to be transferred by DOTr to TESDA will be used for the skills training and skills assessment including the development of training regulations and curricula for the transportation sector.

Last December 19, 2018, the DOTr transferred to TESDA the 50% of the total budgetary appropriation amounting to Php175-million.

TESDA sets guidelines for implementation of the scholarship program

Meanwhile, Lapeña approved on February 28 TESDA Circular Number 19, Series of 2019 which provides for the implementing guidelines to carry out the provisions indicated in the MOA.

The target beneficiaries for the program include, but are not limited to, the following: a) displaced persons affected by the PUVMP; b) stakeholders who opt to voluntarily exit from the transport industry; c) stakeholders who opt to continue in the transport industry; d) new stakeholders in the transport industry; and d) family members/dependents of the affected stakeholders up to the third degree of consanguinity or affinity.

Each scholar under this program is entitled to free skills training and free skills assessment. They are also provided with free entrepreneurship training (for Cluster of Competencies (CoC) qualifications).

The scholar is also entitled to the training support fund to cover food and transportation allowance equivalent to Php350 per training day attended for a maximum of 35 days.

Around 900 jeepney drivers from the six districts of Pangasinan witnessed the program launch.  They were identified by the Office of the Transport Cooperatives as the recipients of this PUVMP scholarship program from Region 1.

The implementing guidelines also provide that beneficiaries shall be determined from any of the following a) List of qualified candidates from DOTr and transport associations and cooperatives; b) Walk-in, online and Barangay Skills Need Survey (BSNS) applicants, or c) List of qualified candidates from organized enrollment seminars or fairs.

Meanwhile, the Qualification Standards Office of TESDA is currently developing training regulations such as Speed Limiter and Automotive Servicing (Euro-4) to complement the provisions of the modernization program of the DOTr.

“TESDA also assures the scholars under this program that we will assist them so that they will be employed or find livelihood after their training. This is how we do things now in TESDA. We go beyond the skills training,” Lapeña added.