‘We do not allow, we do not tolerate, and we condemn fixing in TESDA’ – Sec. Mamondiong
“I have said it before and I will say it again, we do not allow, we do not tolerate, and we condemn fixing in TESDA, especially in scholarship programs. This is another form of corruption in the government.”, intensely emphasized Sec. Guiling “Gene” Mamondiong during the Regional TVET Stakeholders Conference held at TESDA Regional Training Center in Tabang, Guiguinto, Bulacan last May 12, 2017.
The TESDA Director General, in front of the officials and representatives of technical-vocational schools (TVIs), TESDA officials and employees, and other stakeholders and participants from the seven (7) provinces of Region III, and members of the media, informed that they have received reports regarding the third person (fixer) talking with the TVIs and other TESDA officials, and even used his name (Mamondiong), and promised to provide scholarship grants.
Mamondiong, clarified that they do not tolerate such act, and they are not authorizing any person, outside TESDA, on meeting and talking with TVIs, regarding the provision and awarding of scholarship grants since the tendering system is already at hand.
At present, TESDA scholarship programs are all under the Tendering System Scheme, which means that TVIs will apply or request for tender (RFT) to a particular training program/qualification that were identified based on demand and employability and TVIs will be evaluated and ranked based on the criteria such as absorptive capacity, employment rate and utilization rate and then will be granted scholarship grants.
He asserted that he will not also permit those persons who will give or offer gifts to TESDA officials and employees. He accentuated that it is a bribery, which is another form of corruption.
He stated that he is committed to make TESDA a corruption-free agency, a pledge he vowed to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte when he was appointed TESDA Secretary last year.
His vision and mission
Sec. Guiling “Gene” Mamondiong thanked all the stakeholders who participated in the Regional TVET Stakeholders Conference and was pleased to see people who he stated as the implementers of TESDA policies and programs. He added that without them, TESDA could do nothing. He then laid his plans for TESDA.
TESDA as drug-free agency
Aside from being a corruption-free, he instructed all TESDA offices, employees and all of its trainees to be drug-free. He informed that they already undergone drug-testing at TESDA Central Office in Taguig City. He encouraged TVIs to do the same with their respective employees and students. He said that they could coordinate with the Department of Health for the free or discounted drug-testing.
He stated that President Duterte has been very vocal and very active on his campaign on eradicating the drug trade and drug addiction in our country. He informed that the President, in most of his speeches as this year’s chair of the ASEAN summit, seek the promise of ASEAN leaders and emphasized the need to keep the youth away from drugs and to reaffirm their commitment to realize a drug-free ASEAN community.
TESDA RTC as center of excellence
Regional training centers, as TESDA flagship in trainings, must be center of excellence, as stated by the Secretary. He informed that there are 120 TESDA regional training centers in the country and they will providing funds for the construction of dormitory and procurement of necessary equipment for these centers.
National registration of trainers and assessors
By June 2017, there will be a national registration of trainers and assessors. He said that there will also be trainings for trainers and assessors. But before the provision of such trainings, there must be a service contract, since we are investing to them, they must serve our institutions at least two to three years.
He said that most of the trainers were switching to another employer because of low salary. He encouraged all TESDA and TVIs officials to have a discussion about the income of trainers and assessors and hopefully by 2018, they will include in the proposed budget whatever they will be discussing.
Cleanliness and make-over of TESDA
TESDA must have a make-over in all its offices and facilities and must maintain cleanliness. He said that he will be giving financial assistance for the rehabilitation of all TESDA offices. He also urged TVIs to do as well.
Consultation with the LGUs, private sectors and other industries
Through consultation with the local government units, private sectors and other industries, we will know what trainings and skills needed in a particular place so that job and training mismatch will be avoided. He said that we must first know the available job opportunities before conducting trainings.
Evolution of Skills Training
TESDA has initiated the Barangay Kasanayan para sa Kabuhayan at Kapayapaan (BKKK), program that aims to attain the sustainable human development through the expansion and provision of equal opportunities for the greater number of people and those who have little access to skills training in the smallest government unit, the barangay. TESDA intend to offer them programs that will directly respond to the skills requirements and employment opportunities in their localities.
Mamondiong informed that there are 830,000 respondents or jobless people who wants to undergo skills training. And there are still 46% barangays all over the Philippines that are not yet responding. He said that they are now proposing a budget to Congress to be used for this project and they are expecting that the number of respondents to increase up to 1.5 million by the time it will be approved.
ASEAN Skills Development Council
Mamondiong informed that they will be proposing to their ASEAN counterparts on the creation of ASEAN Skills Development Council to have a skills development fund to be used for the skills trainings and its operation.
Ladderized System of Education
The director general suggested to start the Ladderized Education, a new system of education that allows learners to evolve between Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and College, and vice-versa. It opens opportunities for career and educational advancement to students and workers.
He encouraged everyone to coordinate with each other, coordinate to LGUs, private sectors and other industries on the creation of curriculum that would cater or serve to the new system of education and make this project possible.
He added that it is much better if graduates from TESDA or from TVIs offering TESDA registered courses could be hired as government employees since there are more benefits being offered in the government.
Federal System of Government
Mamondiong has promoted and urged everyone to support President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on his advocacy of having the federal system of government.
He informed that through federal system, all regions in the country will be given equal opportunities, increase decentralization, greater local power and access to resources. The tax will be equally divided among regions to efficiently cater to the needs despite its diversity.
He also reiterated what President Duterte had promised that he would step down even before his term ends to pave the way for this new system. The President has been asking Congress to fast-track moves for this system to hasten economic development since the resources and financial mobilization are upon each states’ or provinces’ discretion without significant constraint or limitation from the central government.
Dr. Marcelo Fernandez, from Bulacan, regional chairman of TVIs Association in Region 3, told Sec. Mamondiong and to everyone during the open forum that he is satisfied with the effort exerted by the officials and employees from TESDA Bulacan and all TESDA offices in Central Luzon, headed by Atty. Andrew A. Bido, because they follow each and every policies and programs of the agency especially the rules and guidelines of scholarship programs.
He informed that he never voted Duterte but when he became the President, he supported him and all his programs all the way. He said that he will also support the President on his advocacy of having a federal system of government in the Philippines. He added that he is happy when TESDA started promoting the agriculture sectors that is why he will be building a farming school.
Mr. Camilo Benitez from Tarlac Institute of Technology, inquired how small regions such as Central Visayas with limited resources could facilitate their operations through this federal system of government.
Mamondiong answered that all regions will be providing equal opportunities and support from the government.
Scholarship grants for IPs
Ms. Armie Llamas, department manager of Public Relations Department of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), asked the assistance of TESDA thru Atty. Andrew Bido and TESDA Zambales Provincial Director Virginia Bondoc to help her constituents especially those in the hem of the society (laylayan ng lipunan) in the province of Zambales to improve their lives through the provision of skills training.
Sec. Mamondiong informed that they signed a memorandum of agreement for the provision of skills training to the members of Indigenous Peoples (IPs). They stipulated 10,000 scholarship grants exclusive for IPs including IPs from Zambales, and additional 13,000 scholarship grants for Caraga Region. He said that the President stated that he will add supplementary funds if they needed more for the IPs.
Brand new car for TESDA Aurora
Mr. Jaime Gosip, president of TVIs Association in Aurora, said that TESDA Aurora are doing their best and exerting their best effort to provide all their services to all TVIs and people from Aurora. However, Aurora as the farthest among the provinces in Central Luzon, could not fully implements its programs and projects because the lack of resources.
Wrecked and damaged roads in most of the municipalities in Aurora added to the burden of TESDA Aurora provincial office. He said that Provincial Director Alejandra De Jesus is using an old car without aircon. He wished and asked for financial support for TESDA Aurora.
The director general said that he will provide a brand new car for TESDA Aurora and increase their Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE).
Scholarship for nine different languages
Dr. Elvira Pineda, president of Inter-Skills Development Foundation in Nueva Ecija, said that their foundation has been sending skilled workers in Japan. Japan is open for employment and needed more skilled workers, however, applicant must possess and know how to speak Nihongo (Japanese language). She requested scholarship grant for this language to help our people seeking employment in Japan.
The Sectary informed that they already provided scholarship grants in nine (9) different languages including Nihongo. He said that they signed a memorandum of agreement with Magsaysay Training Dev’t. Center and Magsaysay Development Assessment Center regarding the provision of Japanese Langauge.
He added that they also drafted a memorandum of agreement with the Japan government regarding the scholarship grants and will be pursuing it right away.
He ended it by saying “bago pa kayo nagsalita ngayon, napagbigyan na kayo!” (Sierra E. Flores/ TESDA Bataan)