Tesda summons directors, employees | Inquirer News

Tesda summons directors, employees

/ 10:06 PM November 06, 2011

ILOILO City—The head of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) said graft cases against its former director general and now Iloilo Representative Augusto Syjuco were being pursued without letup.

“It is part of our mandate to clean up the agency and the cases filed against (Syjuco) and others believed to be also involved are moving,” Tesda Director General Joel Villanueva told the Inquirer.

Villanueva said subpoenas have been issued to directors, regional directors and employees of the agency in connection with pending complaints filed before the Office of the Ombudsman.


Syjuco and some former and current officials and employees of the agency are facing administrative and criminal complaints before the Ombudsman for alleged anomalies when Syjuco headed the agency during the administration of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.


Syjuco, a close ally of Arroyo and now representative of Iloilo’s second congressional district, has repeatedly denied the allegations and has insisted that all transactions of the agency under his administration were aboveboard.

He has claimed that the allegations against him were the work of his political rivals and disgruntled former Tesda employees whom he terminated from the agency.

Among the alleged anomalies were the irregularities in the procurement of training materials and in Tesda’s scholarship program.

The Public Services Labor Independent Confederation, a federation of government employees, had filed a pending P3.8-billion plunder case against Syjuco before the Ombudsman for alleged irregularities at the Tesda, including an alleged P60.9-million overprice in the purchase of training equipment.

The complaint was based on findings of the Commission on Audit of alleged overpricing by 150 percent to 42,732 percent in the procurement of training tools and equipment under Tesda’s P320-million Ladderized Education Program.

Syjuco is also facing a complaint related to irregularities in the P2.4-billion allocation for the Pangulong Gloria Scholarship which was implemented through scholarship vouchers issued to training schools.


Villanueva said that of the P2.4 billion, only P880 million were backed by receipts and other proof of implementation.

He said the agency has been receiving payment claims for the scholarship vouchers but he said the P2.4-billion allotment was not authorized and included in the Tesda budget.

Payment to these schools would only be paid if there was a special appropriation from Congress, said Villanueva.

“It has been the position of the Department of Budget and Management that we will not pay these unauthorized allocations especially because many of these are ghost payments,” he said.

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Villanueva said Tesda would continue to pursue the complaints and provide all evidence if the Ombudsman would recommend the formal filing of criminal and administrative charges against Syjuco and others found liable in the alleged irregularities.—With a report from Carla P. Gomez, Inquirer Visayas

TAGS: Judiciary, Philippines, Regions, School

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