Legarda Receives National TESDA Kabalikat Award 2021

August 24, 2021

Three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman, Loren Legarda, virtually received today the National TESDA Kabalikat Award under the Legislative Category in recognition of her invaluable contribution in developing, enhancing, and implementing training programs that have resulted in better employability of Filipino skilled workers as well as in the promotion of entrepreneurship among Filipinos.

Legarda also recently received the Kabalikat Award at the regional level after being nominated by TESDA Antique Provincial Office for the Regional Awards under the Legislative Partner category. Even before her election as Antique Congresswoman in 2019, Legarda has worked with various government agencies to help uplift the lives of many Antiqueños by ensuring that programs of the national government continue to reach the province, particularly the barangay level.

Among these programs are the 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.

To further provide the province with the capacity to generate more jobs and develop skilled workers, Legarda supported the allocation of funds for the construction, equipment and operational expenses of TESDA Training centers in each of the 18 municipalities. Moreover, the construction of the provincial training center located in Hamtic is also ongoing.

A house bill filed by Legarda is now being considered in the House of Representatives to provide adequate funding for the Antique Provincial TESDA Training and Assessment Center in Hamtic and the Pandan TESDA training center to ensure that effective employment interventions through training programs will be more accessible in both the southern and northern parts of Antique.

Since she was first elected as Senator in 1998, Legarda has consistently given importance and priority to livelihood and skills training development. On her second term as Senator, she authored Republic Act No. 9509, also known as the Barangay Livelihood and Skills Training Act of 2008, a law that establishes 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. During her Chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Finance, she initiated the augmentation of funds for TESDA’s various scholarship and skills training programs.

In the House of Representatives, as the Chair of the Sub-Committee on New Normal, Legarda also conducted a hearing on the bill which seeks to provide a Recovery Assistance Package for Higher Education and Technical Vocational Education and Training by providing recovery assistance package to upgrade and rehabilitate IT/internet system and infrastructures in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) and TESDA; provide training on distance/flexible learning system for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Technical Vocational Institutions (TVIs); provide financial assistance/subsidy for teaching and non-teaching personnel, trainors and assessors in HEIs and TVIs; offer zero percent (0%) interest loans and subsidies for students and faculty for IT-related needs; and ensure additional budget for Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) under RA 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act to expand coverage for students not covered by Listahanan 2.0 determined by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Aside from TESDA scholarship grants in Antique, additional scholars from other localities such as Cagayan, Pampanga, Tarlac, NCR, Laguna, Batangas, Cavite, Oriental Mindoro, Albay, Capiz, Aklan, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Isabela City, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, Misamis Oriental, and South Cotabato also benefited from Legarda’s initiative. As of date, Legarda supported a total of 101,792 grantees nationwide since 2016.

“Skills development is crucial in helping our country emerge from poverty. Through our coordination with TESDA, we provide our people not only with livelihood and entrepreneurial opportunities, but we see to it that employment creation initiatives are matched with local training programs and livelihood activities of a certain community. The government has to continuously formulate innovative strategies and training interventions in support of skills development efforts in order to produce a skillful and competitive workforce,” Legarda said.

The following also received the Kabalikat Award under the Legislative Category: Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez of the 2nd District of Cagayan de Oro, Representative Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe of the 2nd District of Zamboanga City, and Representative Francisco Jose “Bingo” Matugas II of the 1st District of Surigao del Norte.