Keynote Message: TESDA 29th Founding Anniversary

August 22, 2023

TESDA 29th Founding Anniversary
22 August 2023 | SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City

Isang mapagpalang araw sa ating lahat!

It is with great honor and pride that I join you today to celebrate a remarkable milestone – the 29th Founding Anniversary of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, better known as TESDA.

I would like to greet our new Director General, DG Suharto T. Mangudadatu, the local government of Mandaluyong City led by Hon. Benjamin Abalos, Sr., Mr. Steven Tan, President of SM Supermalls, our Deputy Director Generals: DDG Rosanna Urdaneta, DDG Aniceto John Bertiz; and DDG Vidal Villanueva, executive directors, regional directors, and the TESDA family.

For nearly three decades, TESDA has been at the forefront of empowering citizens, developing communities, and pushing economic progress through quality technical education and skills training. This has been the product of partnerships and collaboration between the government and the private sector. We are allies in our pursuit of changing the culture around tech-voc. It must not be seen just as mere alternatives to the general forms of education, nor as occasional necessities to earn more. Rather, we must look at it as a legitimate and empowering track in pursuit of success and lifetime dreams.

In 2021, when I was bestowed the National TESDA Kabalikat Award, it acknowledged our hard work in the various programs we pushed for in our home province of Antique: Barangay Kabuhayan Skills Training Program (BKSTP), Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP), and Special Training for Employment Program (STEP), all under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) benefitting over 18,000 Antiqueño trainees since 2016. Nationwide, our efforts to support TESDA have benefited over 110,794 grantees since 2016.

When we passed the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, we made sure that access to tertiary education included those in the technical-vocational sector. During my terms as Senator and Representative of the Lone District of Antique, we always made sure that there is sufficient funding for this effort. Last year, we produced 1,231,284 graduates in TVET. Hopefully, we produce more. When we sponsor once again the budget of TESDA in the Senate, we will make sure that there is appropriate allocation to address key challenges in the employment sector.

One of the first bills I filed in my fourth term is Senate Bill No. 6, the bill which seeks to create the Department of Technical Education, Training and Certification. We filed this measure to strengthen the role of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) as the leading partner in the development of the Filipino workforce.

I have always believed that skills development is a crucial part of citizen empowerment which is why we passed the law establishing livelihood and skills training centers in the fourth, fifth, and sixth-class municipalities to open employment opportunities, combat poverty and improve the quality of life of the Filipinos through Republic Act No. 9509, also known as the Barangay Livelihood and Skills Training Act of 2008.

Ultimately, I want to thank the educators, trainers, teachers, staff, and all those who have devoted their time and expertise to nurturing talents. You are the building blocks of our nation’s success in TVET. Maraming salamat po sa inyong sakripisyo.

I also congratulate you for keeping up with the call of the times. I am glad that the TESDA Online Program (TOP) has been revolutionizing e-learning for technical vocational education and training (TVET). In 2022, the TOP achieved remarkable milestones with a total of 4,409,598 registered users, 5,097,785 enrollments, and 3,220,912 course completions.
The world is changing at a rapid pace – technology, automation, and digitalization are reshaping industries and demanding new skill sets. TESDA must be at the center of this. Our businesses and industries must connect with our educational institutions to assess, plan, and strategize our approach to providing quality technical-vocational education.

Finally, I want to envision TESDA expanding even further – where every Filipino has the opportunity to acquire the skills and tools, they need to pursue their dreams and contribute to national progress. Upskilling and reskilling must be an option that is available to all.

We must transform lives beyond the limitations of social and economic boundaries. TESDA has a large role to play in answering the demands of the labor sector and in shaping a labor force that is responsive, fit, and adaptive.

As you launch your new slogan, “Sa TESDA, Lingap ay Maaasahan,” may you always remember that public service is at the heart of TESDA. May you remember the faces of those who graduated and were able to put food on the table because we extended our reach and areas of training.

May this be your guiding principle when you implement the National Technical Education and Skills Development Plan (NTESDP) 2023-2028 – TESDA is more than just a government agency; it is a reliable partner in nation-building, serving the needs of our people.

Happy 29th Founding Anniversary TESDA! Salamat sa halos tatlong dekada ng serbisyo at kalinga sa manggagawang Pilipino! Cheers to a future with endless possibilities and to a TESDA that is for the people!

Maraming salamat po!

Isang luntiang Pilipinas sa ating lahat!