THE two-chamber Congress would do well to fully support government offices and agencies involved in preparing the country’s workers to be globally competitive.
One of them is the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) whose main mandate is to provide skills, livelihood and job opportunities for the Filipino people.
Formerly called the National Manpower and Youth Council, TESDA is headed by Director-General Isidro S. Lapena, a retired three-star police general from Urdaneta City in Pangasinan.
Without doubt, our lawmakers need to provide TESDA with enough financial resources to enable it to serve more people, particularly the millions of jobless and underemployed Filipinos.
Even House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, a lawyer and banker by profession, has underscored the importance of providing additional budget next year for TESDA.
Romualdez, chairman of the House rules committee, made the statement after attending last week’s appropriations committee hearing on TESDA’s proposed P11.851-billion budget.
“TESDA should be given more funds to ensure better…employment opportunities for Filipinos. It’s their mandate to reach out to the unemployed and marginalized people,” said Romualdez.
Next year’s TESDA budget is lower by six percent compared to this year’s P12.55-billion budget. For 2020, the agency proposed a P19.9-billion budget.
Lapena explained: “If we have more budget, we can serve more kababayans…and this will improve ‘yung pyramidal structure ng ating lipunan, improving ‘yung middle class natin.”
We can understand that the government finds it hard to implement other pro-poor projects because of lack of funds.
But training more workers, through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, is a must if we are to meet the employment needs of the burgeoning population.