By Dhel Nazario
A set standards for competency assessment has recently been developed by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), through its Qualifications and Standards Office (QSO) for Mango Production Level II and Mango Processing Level II.
This was done following Secretary Isidro Lapeña’s directive, reiterating that agriculture, fisheries, and forestry remain to be the topmost priority sector under his term.
Competency Standards, as defined in the TESDA Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Glossary of Terms, refers to “industry-determined specification of competencies required for effective work performance.”
The standards for Mango Production Level II list down the competencies needed by a person to be able to perform mango nursery operations, mango planting, caring and maintaining of mango orchard, and harvest and postharvest operations.
A person who has satisfied the CS for Mango Production Level II is declared competent to become a mango grower, mango farmer and/or mango nursery operator.
Meanwhile, the Mango Processing Level II CS consist of competencies a person must have in order to process mangoes by fermentation and pickling, by sugar concentration, and by drying and dehydration. Also included in these competency standards is the ability to pack processed food and operate simple packing equipment.
Additionally, the observance of food safety measures such as Republic Act No. 10611 or the Food Safety Act 2013, Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP), Occupational. Safety and Health Standards (OSHS), and 7S of Good Housekeeping, namely: sort, systematize, sweep, standardize, safety, self-discipline and sustain, in addition to other environmental rules and regulations are included.
The competencies also include the inspection of simple defects of packing materials, seal integrity, and correct product label. They also comprise calibrating, assembling, and operating of basic food processing tools and equipment.
A person who has met the said standards is competent to become a Food Processing Worker, Food Production Worker/Staff, Packing Staff, Quality Control Staff, Mango Processor, and/or Fruit-candy Maker.
At present, Technical Vocational Institutions (TVIs) and TESDA Technology Institutions (TTIs) still have to register these programs for scholarship. Training duration will also be determined upon the development of the competency-based curriculum of the training providers who will register the said programs.