Palace defends DAP as Aquino prepares to address nation
MANILA, Philippines – Ahead of President Benigno Aquino III’s address to the nation Wednesday evening, Malacañang tweeted a link to a statement defending anew the government’s controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP.
DAP, which was created to rechannel the savings of various government agencies to projects intended to pump-prime the economy, provided an additional P50 million in pork barrel for each senator in the aftermath of the impeachment of then Chief Justice Renato Corona last year.
Aquino is set to deliver a televised speech from the Palace between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. “to discuss current issues.”
The online “Official Gazette PH” tweeted this link at 11:02 a.m. Wednesday: “In case you missed it: DAP-funded training yields high employment rate (http://www.gov.ph/).”
“It’s not always the devil that is in the details, the good can be found, too, if we will just bother to check,” said the statement posted on the website of the Department of Budget and Management (http://www.gov.ph/).
The statement that originated from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority claimed that skills training programs funded by the “controversial” DAP had “yielded high employment rate, putting to work” more than 90,000 graduates of various courses managed by Tesda.
The statement quoted Tesda Secretary General Joel Villanueva as saying that DAP “yielded good results for us and the thousands of graduates that are now gainfully employed.”
Aquino keynoted on Tuesday the 2nd National Technical Vocational Education and Training Congress organized by Tesda.
A total of P1.1 billion was released to Tesda in October 2011 through DAP, and this “produced close to 150,000 graduates” of livelihood courses, the statement said.
“And how this fund was utilized was backed by records and an authentic list of beneficiaries,” it said.
Tesda used the funds to supplement the Training for Work Scholarship Program (I-TWSP), in which P500 million went to the Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) sector, and P600 million to support the skills requirement in four priority sectors: agriculture/agri-business; tourism, retirement, health and wellness; general infrastructure; and electronics/semi-conductor.
“The Training for Work Scholarship program is one of our existing programs funded under the General Appropriations Act. Based on our data, six out of 10 graduates who availed [themselves] of the scholarship got employed within six months to one year after training,” Villanueva said.
In the IT-BPO sector, 75,479 completed the training from the 75,682 individuals who enrolled for it, resulting in a 70.7 percent employment rate for those programs implemented in partnership with the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP).
BPAP has provided Tesda with the list of the names of the employed graduates for this sector.
To maximize resources and ensure high employment rate of graduates, Villanueva said Tesda partnered with BPAP for the joint management of the implementation of the I-TWSP.
Under the memorandum of agreement, Tesda allocated scholarship vouchers to BPAP to train workers in the IT-BPO industry. This particularly refers to “pre-employment training and retooling of incoming workers in the IT-BPO sector,” Tesda said.
BPAP engaged its different associations for the training requirements such as the Animation Council of the Philippines for Animation, Contact Center Association of the Philippines, Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines, Philippine Software Industry Association, and the National ICT Council of the Philippines.
These associations, in turn, engaged Tesda-accredited companies and training institutions with Tesda-registered programs to undertake the training of qualified near-hires.
An additional P18 million was allocated for the BPAP for the implementation of the Training Methodology Plus (TM Plus) program for 900 IT-BPO trainers.
In the semiconductor sector, one of the industry partners of Tesda is the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, which produced 2,404 graduates, of which 2,044 or 85 percent are already employed.
For the other four priority sectors, 73,632 graduates out of the 73,848 enrolled, to wit: Agriculture/Agri-business (2,473 graduates); Tourism, Retirement, Health and Wellness (42,712 graduates); General Infrastructure (21,793 graduates); and Electronics and Semi-conductor (6,654 graduates).
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