(PNA fie photo by Cristina Arayata)

MANILA – An initial 50 young people from Tondo, Manila will be given free English proficiency training by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the agency said Tuesday.

TESDA Deputy Director General Aniceto Bertiz III told the Philippine News Agency that TESDA targets 500 scholars. The initial 25 will start their training on August 24, while another 25 will begin training on the first week of October.

"We have provided (an initial) 50 slots, but if our NGO (non-government organization) partner from Baseco could send us more enrollees, we could still accommodate another 50," he said.

Bertiz, however, could not clarify the timeline to reach 500 scholars.

TESDA's English Proficiency for Customer Service Workers training runs for 100 hours or 25 days, and is being implemented through full online learning. Entrants must be at least high school graduates to be considered for the program.

For this scholarship, he said full online training will be conducted, and the scholars will each receive a PHP500 internet allowance through the Training for Work Scholarship Program.

"Some of the prospective beneficiaries are out-of-school youth, while others were recruited during protest rallies," he said.

TESDA's National Language Skills Center (NLSC) conducted the assessment in Tondo, and Bertiz said many of the interviewees shared they would want to use their learnings to apply in business process outsourcing (BPO) industries.

The prospective beneficiaries of this free training were chosen in coordination with Yaman, Kalinga at Pagmamahal ng Magulang Movement (YaKaP), and the Joint Task Force – National Capital Region (JTF-NCR).

"The NLSC would like the program to reach more youth who do not have the capacity to study," he said, adding that the NLSC is willing to expand this program outside of Tondo if there will be other venues that will welcome them.

Meanwhile, Bertiz said TESDA has been implementing the English proficiency course since 2010. Other language courses will be offered soon. (PNA)