TACLOBAN CITY— The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) continues to offer skills training and assessment to assist public transport drivers and operators in Eastern Visayas affected by the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
According to TESDA Regional Director Gamaliel B. Vicente Jr., a total of 2,158 beneficiaries have graduated since the launch of the ‘Tsuper Iskolar’ program in 2019. Of this number, 596 have either found employment or started business ventures.
In addition, there are 1,125 enrolled beneficiaries in their chosen program in December 2023. They are expected to complete their training between January and February 2024.
Vicente clarified that 90 displaced persons had already availed themselves of the program based on the number of enrolled beneficiaries as of December 2023. Among these numbers, the province of Leyte has a significant number of beneficiaries, followed by Northern Samar.
Scholars in this program receive skills training, skills assessment, and entrepreneurship training for certificates of competency qualifications.
They can also get up to P350 per day for food and transportation expenses for a maximum of 35 days through the training support fund.
The skills training mostly availed in the region are driving, electrical installation and maintenance, bread and pastry production, and hilot (wellness message) National Certificates II.
“Hangga’t mayroong nakalaang pondo para sa TESDA, palagi kaming handang tumugon para sa ikauunlad ng ating mga kababayan. Sa ngayon, ang huling pondo na inilipat sa atin ng DOTr ay noong December 2023, kung saan nasimulan na din ang pagsasanay ng mga benepisyaryo at inaasahan na magtatapos sila nitong buwan hanggang Pebrebo,” Vincente responded when asked how long the Tsuper Iskolar program would be available in the region.
(Translation: As long as there is allocated funding for TESDA, we are always ready to respond to the development of our fellow citizens. The last funds transferred to us by the DOTr werein December 2023, when the training of beneficiaries also began, and it is expected that they will finish this month by February.)
John Steve Blanca, a resident of Tacloban City, completed the Heavy Equipment Operation (HEO)—wheel loader NC II—through the Tsuper Iskolar program. He is a family member or dependent of an affected transport worker.
“Nang marinig ko ang balita mula sa Tito ko na may libreng training, dali-dali akong pumunta sa 777 para mag inquire. Laking pasasalamat ko dahil sa isa na lang ang kailangan para ma kompleto ang slot,” Blanca said.
(Translation: When I heard the news from my uncle that there’s free training, I immediately went to 777 to inquire. I’m very grateful because only one slot is needed to complete the training.)
He added that this training will enhance his knowledge of driving, enabling him to operate the HEO wheel loader. It’s a significant opportunity for him because it has changed his perspective on life. He is wholeheartedly grateful to TESDA and DOTr for providing free training and allowances, which helped him in his daily training.
“Inaanyayahan ko ang lahat ng mga tsuper pati na rin ang kanilang mga kamag-anak na pumunta sa pinakamalapit na TESDA Provincial office sa inyong lugar upang alamin ang mga available na scholarship programs sa inyong lugar dahil sa TESDA, lingap ay maasahan,” Vicente suggested inviting other public transport workers in the region.
(Translation: I invite all drivers and their relatives to visit the nearest TESDA provincial office in your area to inquire about the available scholarship programs. With TESDA, reliable assistance is guaranteed.)