No 2020 funding for Tulong Trabaho Act, Tesda chief admits
MANILA, Philippines — The zero funding for the Tulong Trabaho Act in 2020 could be a violation of the law, a lawmaker warned Thursday as other congressmen push to augment the budget of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda).
During their budget defense before the House appropriations committee, Tesda Director-General Isidro Lapeña admitted that the Department of Budget and Management did not approve the P1.5 billion funding needed for the implementation of the recently signed Republic Act No. 11230.
“Then, Mr. Chair, that’s clearly a violation of the law because it’s very clear that there have to be appropriations… ” Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, one of the authors of the measure, said.
“So I want to put that on record that the budget for the Tulong Trabaho Act must be put in Tesda so they can implement the law that we just passed and signed by the President last February 22,” she added.
The law mandates a fund that finances scholarships of workers for training programs as needed by industries.
Lapeña said Tesda’s original proposed budget for 2020 was P19.9 billion but DBM, under the National Expenditure Program submitted to Congress, only approved P11.851 billion, a 6 percent decrease from their P12.555 billion 2019 budget.
Recoboda Rep. Godofredo Guya and Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman both manifested the need for additional budget for the agency.
Lapeña agreed, pointing out that they have been serving only 0.9 percent of the total clientele because of the measly budget.
“Tesda is the one that gives jobs and livelihood. You cannot leave a job for a livelihood without undergoing training,” Lapeña said.
“That’s why if we have more budget, we can serve more kababayans that need assistance lalo na ‘yung unemployed even those marginalized, and this will improve ‘yung pyramidal structure ng ating society, improving ‘yung middle-class natin.”
Lapeña also said that out of the 63 mobile training laboratories worth P536 million they originally proposed for 2020, the DBM only approved P50 million for 10 units. He said this would mainly affect training drives for indigenous peoples in far-flung areas. /je
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