By Dhel Nazario
Training in schools and centers will not be affected by the delay in the passage of the 2019 National Budget, the Technical Education Skills Development Authority’s (TESDA) top officer said Saturday.
TESDA Director General, Sec. Isidro Lapeña issued the statement following a news story which said that interruptions in the entry of new students at the TESDA training center in Pangasinan due to “lack of funds”.
“Our statements may have been misunderstood. In fact, the TESDA Pangasinan Provincial Training Center is currently conducting five training programs until April and May this year, after which a new batch of trainees will be admitted,” explained Lapeña.
The programs currently being implemented by the provincial training center are the following: Automotive Servicing NC I, Automotive Servicing NC II, Shielded Metal Arc Welding NC II, Gas Tungsten Arc Welding NCII, and Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC II.
Trainees for the mentioned programs are considered 2018 intake and started their training late last year.
“The trainee who was interviewed for the news story is simply waiting for slots to open, which will happen when earlier batches finish their training programs,” according to TESDA Pangasinan Provincial Director Cariza A. Dacuma.
“We already have prepared our Scholarship Allocation Plan for 2019, and that is also ready for implementation,” added Dacuma.
TESDA’s training is funded primarily through its approved budget as well as by appropriations for the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (UAQTEA).
In the Department of Budget and Management’s Circular Letter No. 2019-1, agencies of the national government are “authorized to obligate the amount corresponding to their actual requirements under the regular budget for the first quarter of FY 2019”. Further, funds for UAQTEA were released in the last quarter of 2018 and can be used until December 2019.
“There also isn’t any truth in the statement that TESDA’s Central Office is withholding budget from our schools and training centers.
From the start, the budget of a national government agency has already been appropriated per region to be utilized according to their respective annual requirements,” explains Lapeña.
“TESDA is here to serve the public, most especially those who cannot afford the training,” insists the TESDA chief.