Increase in TESDA fund approved


UNEMPLOYED Filipinos who opted out of pursuing tertiary education may soon avail of free technical-vocational education through the Tulong-Trabaho measure recently passed by the Senate.

Authored by Sen. Joel Villanueva, Senate Bill No. 1431 seeks to provide free tech-voc training by giving additional funding to Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)

“Additional funding is necessary given the current surge in the number of enrollees of tech-voc courses offered by TESDA” he said.

Villanueva was director-general of TESDA from 2010 to 2015 before he was elected to the Senate in 2016.


2.3 Million Enrollees 

TESDA records showed enrollees of tech-voc courses increased sharply by 45 percent or 2.3 million in 2015 from 1.6 million enrollees in 2010.

Despite this, Villanueva has noted that the amount allocated for TESDA’s Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) remained at P2.2 billion from 2016 up to this year. 

"We believe that increasing the allocation of TESDA scholarship programs will lead to greater output and productivity of workers. The measure also seeks to address the job skills mismatch of our workers," Villanueva said.

Under Villanueva’s bill, the Tulong-Trabaho Fund would shoulder the fees of selected training programs for qualified recipients as well as the possibility of providing additional financial assistance such as transportation allowance and laboratory fees.



Beneficiaries of the Tulong-Trabaho Fund will be chosen by the TESDA Board from a list of eligible applications based on the recommendation of the TESDA secretariat. 

The recipients of the Tulong-Trabaho fund would be evaluated periodically to ensure that at least 80 percent of the beneficiaries would be certified after the training program.

The bill also proposes a Philippine Labor Force Competencies Competitiveness Program which will be established based on the country’slabor market intelligence reports. 

“The measure also guarantees industry participation and incentives and engagement of local governments," Villanueva pointed out.



"Consistent with the UniFAST Act of 2015, the Tulong-Trabaho fund would pave the way for productivity enhancement and to complement technological change in the workplace," the senator also said.

The Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act or UniFAST Act of 2015 aims to provide scholarships to qualified students who want to go to study but could not afford to go to college.

Failure to meet the passing rate would subject the recipient industry board to performance review and be audited by the TESDA board, according to the bill.

"The passage of this bill will make tech-voc accessible to all, boost our workers' confidence to face the world of work and ensure that the youth who are ready to work hard with the right skill sets to obtain in-demand jobs," Villanueva noted.