Upgrading of TESDA pushed in Congress

Published July 5, 2020, 9:42 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Seeking to promote and strengthen the quality of technical education and skills development programs in the country, Baguio’s lone district Rep. Mark Go has sought the creation of the Department of Technical Education and Skills Development (DTESD).

Baguio City Rep. Mark Go (Congressman Mark Go Facebook Page / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The DTESD, which is tasked to formulate a roadmap for the country’s technical education and skills development, is proposed under Go’s House Bill No. 6996 or the proposed “DTESD Act of 2020” and shall be headed by a Secretary, four Undersecretaries and four Assistant Secretaries.
 
The chairman of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education cited the need to repeal the 25-year old Republic Act No. 7796 or the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Act to equip TESDA to respond to the “enormous challenges” in both local and global landscape. 
 
“There are limitations to what TESDA can do which can be addressed if it will be elevated into a line Department of the government. TESDA must address the need for modern facilities and equipment in order to be at par with the requirements of the challenge posed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and other advancements that may happen in the future,” Go said in his bill’s explanatory note. 
 
Go said the proposed Department “shall be the primary policy formulation, planning, coordinating, implementing, regulating and administrative entity of the government for technical education and training and certification policies, plans and programs.”
 
Among the powers and functions of the DTESD are address job mismatch between technical vocational education and training and industry requirement; assess, review, harmonize and coordinate all technical education and skills development policies and programs; and approve training standards and assessment packages as established and conducted by private industries.
 
HB 6996 tasks the DTESD, with the active participation of private industries, to organize and conduct annual skills competitions that would lead the country to participate in international skills competitions such as ASEAN and World Skills Olympics.
 
The measure calls for the creation of a Technical Education and Skills Development (TESD) Fund to be administered by the DTESD Secretary. The fund shall be used exclusively in awarding of grants and providing assistance to training institutions, industries, local government units for upgrading their capabilities and to develop and implement training and training-related activities. 
 
The contribution to the fund may come from a one-time lump sum appropriation from the National Government, an annual contribution from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Fund and donations, grants, endowments, and other bequests or gifts, and any other income generated by the DTESD. 
 
The bill also provides that the amount needed for the initial implementation of the proposed Act shall be taken from the current fiscal year’s appropriation of TESDA. Thereafter, the amount needed for the operation and maintenance of the DTESD shall be included in the General Appropriations Act, it added. 
 
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by CHARISSA M. LUCI-ATIENZA 
 
Seeking to promote and strengthen the quality of technical education and skills development programs in the country, Baguio lone district Rep. Mark Go has sought the creation of the  Department of Technical Education and Skills Development (DTESD).
 
The DTESD, which is tasked to formulate a roadmap for the country’s technical education and skills development, is proposed under Go’s House Bill No. 6996  or the proposed “DTESD Act of 2020”.
 
The chairman of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education cited the need to repeal the 25-year old Republic Act No. 7796 or the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Act to equip TESDA to respond to the “enormous challenges” in both local and global landscape. 
 
“There are limitations to what TESDA can do which can be addressed if it will be elevated into a line Department of the government. TESDA must address the need for modern facilities and equipment in order to be at par with the requirements of the challenge posed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and other advancements that may happen in the future,” Go said in his bill’s explanatory note. 
 
HB 6996 seeks to strengthen the powers and the organizational function of TESDA by elevating it into a Department, Go stressed. 
 
He said the proposed Department “shall be the primary policy formulation, planning, coordinating, implementing, regulating and administrative entity of the government for technical education and training and certification policies, plans and programs.”
 
Under the bill, DTESD  shall be headed by a Secretary, four Undersecretaries and four Assistant Secretaries.
 
Among the powers and functions of the DTESD are address job mismatch between technical vocational education and training and industry requirements; assess, review, harmonize and coordinate all technical education and skills development policies and programs; enter into, make, execute, perform and carry-out domestic and foreign contracts subject to existing laws, rules and regulations; approve training standards and assessment packages as established and conducted by private industries; establish and administer a system of accreditation of both public and private technical vocational institutions; establish, develop and support institutions trainers’ training and/or programs; and  exact reasonable fees and charges for such assessment and trainings conducted and retain such earnings for its own use, subject to guidelines promulgated by the DTESD.
 
Go said under HB 6996, various bureaus, service offices and Regional/ Provincial/ District Offices shall carry out the functions of the new Department, and that implementation of direct training programs will be done by the technology institutions.
 
“With the proposed legislative measure, TESDA will be strengthened as an implementing and regulatory institution of the Technical and Vocational Sector of the country’s trifocal education system. The agency will have a better capacity to fulfill its vision as the transformational leader in the technical education and skills development of the Filipino workforce,” he said. 
 
HB 6996 tasks the DTESD, with the active participation of private industries, to organize and conduct annual skills competitions. The DTESD shall promulgate the necessary rules and guidelines for the effective and efficient conduct of national skills competitions and for the country’s participation in internationals skills competitions such as ASEAN and World Skills Olympics, the bill provides. 
 
The measure calls for the creation of a Technical Education and Skills Development (TESD) Fund to be administered by the DTESD Secretary. The fund shall be used exclusively in awarding of grants and providing assistance to training institutions, industries, local government units for upgrading their capabilities and to develop and implement training and training-related activities. 
 
The contribution to the fund shall be the following: a one-time lump sum appropriation from the National Government; an annual contribution from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Fund, the amount of which shall be determined by the OWWA and based on the study on financing capacity of the OWWA fund; and donations, grants, endowments, and other bequests or gifts, and any other income generated by the DTESD, HB 6996 provides. 
 
Under the bill,  a network of  DTESD-funded placement centers or PLACERS in all the Provincial/District Offices shall be set up to cater specifically to the job placement of graduates of TESD institutions. 
 
In coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), these centers shall be part of the National Employment Service Network of the DOLE, according to the bill.
 
HB 6996 grants separation benefits to employees who are separated from service within six months from the effectivity of this Act as a result of the abolition or reorganization under the provisions of the proposed Act.
 
It said the “TESDA Secretariat created under Sections 10-15 of R.A. 7796 shall comprise the initial manpower complement of the DTESD and that no employee shall be terminated by virtue of this transfer.”
 
The laws and rules on government reorganization as provided under Republic Act No. 6656, otherwise known as the Reorganization Law, shall govern the transfer and reorganization process of the DTESD, it provides. 
 
“The personnel of the TESDA shall, in a holdover capacity, continue to perform their respective duties and responsibilities and receive their corresponding salaries and benefits until such time when the organizational structure pattern of the DTESD shall have been approved,” it said. 
 
The bill provides that the amount needed for the initial implementation of the proposed Act shall be taken from the current fiscal year’s appropriation of TESDA. Thereafter, the amount needed for the operation and maintenance of the DTESD shall be included in the General Appropriations Act, it added. 
 
The DTESD shall issue the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed Act within a period of 90 days after the effectivity of the proposed Act.

 
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