13 June 2019
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), standing by its guiding principle, “TESDA Abot Lahat,” has extended services to the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia by conductin4 tog an Onsite Assessment Program (OAP) last June  9.

This program is one of the efforts of the Agency in extending services to the OFWs in order to uplift their quality of jobs. Headed by the agency’s Certification Office, OAP enables the evaluation of the competencies the OFWs have acquired from training and/or their experience working abroad and certifying them as skilled workers after, without the OFWs temporarily leaving their overseas work to process their certification in the Philippines.

During the said assessment, 236 Filipinos were assessed and a total of 214 were certified from Total Care International (TCI) and Filipino Computer & Literacy Program (FILCOM). 147 were certified in Caregiving NC II while 67 were certified in Massage Therapy NC II, topping the certification rate in the Gulf Country for the past three years with an average of 90.68%.

Easy access to this program is also a step in providing more opportunities for employment and career development of the overseas workers.

Consul General Edgar Badajos lauded TESDA in forwarding this initiative, saying, “We are looking forward to an increasing number of workers to be certified in the future and that TESDA in collaboration with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Jeddah, and other key players to join together and monitor and look into the impact/effect of this to the workers, if being certified has a big change in their lives.”

TESDA, under the direction of Director General Secretary Isidro ‘Sid’ Lapeña, also pushes for other programs for the OFWs, especially those repatriated and returning to the country.

TESDA has provided training programs to repatriated OFWs through the efforts of the regional and provincial offices. 15,745 OFWs already graduated from these TESDA-assisted community-based training programs in January to May 29, 2019.
Following TESDA Order No. 149, Series of 2018, five international airports, namely NAIA Terminals 1 and 3, Clark International Airport, Mactan International Airport, and Davao-Francisco Bangoy International Airport, have put up TESDA OFW Helpdesks since April 2018 to assist returning OFWs immediately.

These OFW Helpdesks, recently renamed as “Malasakit Helpdesks,” have already attended to 1,491 OFWs in April to December 2018 regarding queries mostly on competency assessments; certification, authentication, and verification of their National Certificates (NCs); renewal and replacement of NC and Certificate of Competency (COC); and queries on training and scholarship programs.

The Agency also has a One-Stop Service Center for OFWs at the POEA Central Office in Ortigas, attending to 735 inquiries from January to March of this year.

Acting on the mandate of the Agency, Lapeña heads TESDA in strengthening its mandate, providing relevant, accessible, high quality, and efficient technical education and skills development for everyone.

"To sum up, my agenda is simply for TESDA to be felt by our kababayan, for TESDA to be able to help those in the lower strata of society."