Filipinos can expect more from TESDA amid pandemic: Lapeña

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

September 15, 2020, 7:29 pm

MANILA – Despite the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) on Tuesday said it will continue to give assistance to workers and trainees.

"Filipinos can expect more from TESDA, and we will continue delivering services despite the challenges and risks brought by the pandemic. It is during this most difficult time that we have to do more for the people," TESDA Director-General Isidro Lapeña said in a virtual Palace briefing.

Lapeña said the pandemic affected workers from various sectors, including the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector.

Since the pandemic affected several private tech-voc institutions (TVIs), TESDA has devised a more flexible payment arrangement so that those which were already implementing their scholarship programs and pieces of training at the time of the community quarantine will be given equitable compensation, he said.

Under the "new normal" and using the blended and flexible learning modalities, Lapeña said TESDA’s trainees and scholars are supported with the training allowance of PHP160 per day, additional PHP500 for data or internet allowance to support their online training, one-year accident insurance, and PHP500 for their health-protective equipment.

"Immediately after the declaration of the enhanced community quarantine, we crafted the 'Oplan TESDA Abot Lahat: TVET Towards the New Normal'. It contains guidelines and policies in response to the ongoing crisis, and the way forward post-pandemic," Lapeña said.

He said TESDA's Online Program had more than 908,000 registrants from March 16 to Sept. 13.

"We have added relevant and timely courses in the online program. These are practicing preventive measures in the workplace, facilitating e-learning sessions, and proper waste management in the management," he said.

TESDA also assisted more than 18,000 trainers and assessors in their application for the Department of Labor and Employment's Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).

Lapeña reported that 2,276 of these applications have been approved, while the rest are still being processed.

"At the onset of the pandemic, we called on TVIs and our regional and provincial offices to provide free face masks, disinfectants to front-liners," Lapeña said.

As of September 10, he said TESDA has already produced 420,433 face masks, 40,807 face shields, 12,621 sanitizers, and 10,060 protective suits. There were also 197,580 who received food packs made by TESDA trainees. (PNA)