Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) MIMAROPA conducted a regional consultation on technical and vocational education and training (TVET) reform and development agenda and skills needs and priorities on September 29, 2016 at Filipiniana Hotel, Calapan City.

A total of 133 participants attended the regional consultation. These includes representatives from the local government units (LGUs), persons with disabilities (PWDs), women groups, indigenous peoples (IP), industries, TVET associations, TVET providers and trainers, national government agencies, non government organizations, TESDA MIMAROPA regional and provincial officials and staff, and TESDA central office officials.

Director Edwin T. Andoyo, TESDA MIMAROPA Regional Director, discussed the two pronged TVET strategy for poverty reduction that was developed by Secretary Guiling Mamondiong. The two (2) strategies are TVET for global competitiveness and TVET for social equity. Out of the 10-point socio-economic agenda of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, two are directly related to TESDA which are promotion of rural and value chain development.

There are 14 TVET reforms and development agenda prepared by Sec. Mamondiong. These are the barangay based scholarship program, online scholarship application, technical audit of TVET schools and programs, skills trainings for drug dependents, skills trainings for entrepreneurs and family enterprises, skills training for inmates and their families, inclusive training program for women, continuing program for TESDA’s alumni, global access to online database of TVET graduates and certified workers, linkages with agro industry, linkages with state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs), linkages with foreign skills training institutions, transparency and moral renewal.

According to Calapan City Mayor Arnan C. Panaligan, the regional consultation is a timely activity in the light of the present administration to focus on poverty reduction. He said that TVET is a powerful tool in combatting poverty by providing the poor with necessary skills or scholarships grant from TESDA or the government. He encouraged the public and private schools to focus on courses that have higher employability rates. He also extends his support to TESDA and all its programs.

Moreover, Regional Technical Education and Skills Development Committee (RTESDC) Chairperson Humerlito A. Dolor reveled that on the on set of the ASEAN integration having borderless economies, they have now the new MIMAROPA highway to Palawan and from Palawan to Malaysia and to other parts of the ASEAN countries. He also urged the TVET graduates to work in ASEAN countries since there was an agreement that the qualifications of TVET graduates are acceptable to them. TVET graduates can work abroad for as long as they want if they pass or meet the agreed requirements.