LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 10 (PNA) -- Some 500 representatives from various local government units (LGUs), particularly the barangays, attended the first in a series of regional consultations on the massive free training and scholarship program to be offered in villages in the six provinces of the region by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Bicol.
TESDA-Bicol Director Conrado Bares, in an interview today, noted the “successful participation and fruitful discussion” during Wednesday’s dialogue on the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP).
“TWSP is a flagship program of TESDA Director General Guiling A. Mamondiong that will give free trainings to villagers in TESDA’s partner universities and colleges in the region,” he said.
Bares said the program believes that anyone who wants to undergo training, as long as they are qualified and mentally and physically fit, should be given importance.
“No one should be neglected and must be given help by TESDA in getting the skills they need,” he said.
Bares said they have Php400 million remaining in the allocated budget for the 2016 scholarship fund.
He said all universities and colleges in the region, who are partners of TESDA, have been told to prepare to open technical and vocational courses.
Bares said Mamondiong gave assurance that the government is now preparing for the 2017 and 2018 budgets because of a plan for massive trainings, especially for the villagers, in the coming years.
“Even the LGUs, especially the mayors and the Liga ng mga Barangay (league of villages) have been told to prepare their constituents,” he said.
Bares said the village chiefs and mayors are responsible for selecting the qualified villagers whom they will recommend to TESDA to undergo the program.
Jose Serrano, assistant regional director of TESDA, said they have conducted skills mapping in the 1,041 barangays of the 3,500 barangays in Bicol wherein 82,000 villagers who want to undergo the skills training and scholarhip program were able to register.
Bares said an expanded program will also give free skills trainings to be coordinated by line agencies for drug surrenderees, inmates, overseas Filipino workers, persons with disabilities, women and indigenous people.
He said Mamondiong had promised to come to Legazpi City for a second round of regional consultation with the same participants.
Mayor Noel Rosal of Legazpi City said the program, which is part of the government’s plan to decongest Metro Manila by strengthening the provinces, will give the villagers a better life in the future.
He urged the government to find a way to link the employers with the program so more job opportunities will be given to those in the provinces. (PNA) PGL/GVR/JORGE HALLARE/EBP