June 4, 2017.

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) thanked the senate after it passed on third and final reading the Tulong Trabaho Act of 2017 which aims to provide free technical-vocational training and uplift the skills of the Filipinos.

TESDA Director General, Secretary Guiling “Gene” Mamondiong said that Senate Bill No. 1431 or popularly known as the Tulong Trabaho Act of 2017 would also pave the way to increase the funds for the agency in technical and vocational training.

Senate Bill No. 1431 was sponsored by Senator Joel Villanueva who was the TESDA chief from 2010-2015 before he was finally elected into the Senate after he won in the 2016 national polls.

“We believe that increasing the allocation of TESDA scholarship programs will lead to greater output and productivity of workers. The measure also seeks to address the job skills mismatch of our workers," Villanueva said then.

Last year, TESDA received P2.2 billion budget for Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP). Despite the increase in the number of students who took up tech-voc courses nationwide, the budget was never increased.

House Bill No. 1431 states that the Tulong Trabaho Fund will subsidize some of the training programs for qualified trainees, including financial help like transportation allowance and laboratory fees.

Under the Tulong Trabaho bill, “the TESDA Board would approve the list of eligible applications based on the recommendation of the TESDA secretariat. The recipients of the Tulong Trabaho fund would be evaluated periodically to ensure that at least 80 percent of the beneficiaries would be certified after the training program”.

“The passage of this bill will make tech-voc accessible to all, boost our workers’ confidence to face the world of work and ensure that the youth who are ready to work hard with the right skill sets to obtain in-demand jobs," Villanueva added.

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