85 private vocational schools face charges
At least 85 technical vocational institutions nationwide are in “hot water” after they were found to have committed several violations against the implementing guidelines enforcing the scholarship programs of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
This after the agency’s National Inspectorate for Scholarship Programs, during its spot inspections, found possible corrupt practices among technical-vocational institutions and training centers with registered Tesda courses from 2017 up to the present.
Tesda Director-General Guiling Mamondiong ordered a separate, newly formed Validation Committee to conduct further investigation into the alleged violations of the 85 TVIs. He has also sought for the immediate cancellation of these TVIs’ certificates of program registration and the possible filling of appropriate charges against them should the initial findings be confirmed.
“The Validation Committee is tasked to verify the findings of the National Inspectorate for the Scholarship (NISP) starting April 16 to 30 and shall submit a report thereto with its recommendation on 07 May 2018,” Mamondiong said.
The five-man Validation Committee is led by Director Angelina M. Carreon, Director lll, Planning Office and, as directed by Mamondiong, will be supported by the concerned TESDA regional and provincial/district offices.
In a report submitted by NISP Project Team under Dir. John D. Simborios, the closure of 43 TVIs and the cancellation of TESDA program registration for 42 others were recommended.
Of the TVIs recommended for closure, four are located in the National Capital Region (NCR); Cordillera Region (CAR), two ; Region 3, 21; Region lV-A, 12; Region X, three; and Region 1, one.
Of the 42 TVIs that have been warned, one is located in the NCR; CAR, two; Region l, four; Region ll, two; Region lll, 11; Region lV-A, 7; Region V and Vl, one; Region Vll, four; Region X, six; Region Xl, two; and Region Xll, one.
TESDA also said that 467 more TVIs will still have to undergo “spot inspection” to determine their compliance to the implementation guidelines of the scholarship program. The agency’s NISP said it hopes to finish the inspection by April 30.
The violations committed by the TVIs include hard-to-locate or erroneous school addresses; unreported change of location; unauthorized collection of fees; no students in attendance; and, unreported closure of the program or training center.
Simborios said that it is important to safeguard the funds and ensure their proper utilization, especially as these have been allocated for the poor through the TESDA scholarship grants.
On Feb.1, 2017, Mamondiong formed the NISP to ensure that government funds for the scholarship program channeled through private vocational training centers are being utilized in accordance with the rules of TESDA.
Apart from this, TESDA also conducted a technical audit among TVIs from 2016 up to the present. A report on the audit showed that 18,288 scholarship programs or courses have been audited. Of these, 10,637 TVIs were found to be compliant with TESDA regulations, 572 were reported to have violated these regulations and 773 have been delisted.
On Aug. 30, 2017, coinciding with the 23rd anniversary of TESDA, Mamondiong declared in front of President Rodrigo Duterte that TESDA is free from drugs and corruption.
Mamondiong also announced that the agency is ready to give a P50,000 reward to anyone who could provide substantial information of any corrupt practices being committed within TESDA or any of its institutions.
Meanwhile, Metro Manila Development Chairman Danilo Lim announced on Tuesday his agency has started its summer internship job program aim to support out-of-school youth and poor college students.
The MMDA welcomed 200 students who will work in the agency’s various offices for a month in line with the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Lim said the summer interns will work as clerks, computer operators, public relations assistants, research assistants, records clerks, legal assistants, messengers, engineering aides, statistician aides, data encoders, etc.
Under the program, the agency can teach the youth about the mandates of the MMDA – traffic management, solid waste management, urban planning, health, public safety, environmental protection and flood control management, and public safety.
“You will gain a wide range of experience and exposure in the agency. I challenge you to consider your tasks as part of your training and continuing education every day,” Lim told the SPES beneficiaries during their orientation.
Lim also urged young students and out-of-school youth to take the SPES program as an opportunity not only to sustain their education but also gain work experience in a government institution.
“Training and education is not just limited to four corners of a classroom. I encourage you to take this opportunity to be productive and make your time worthwhile as you stay here in the agency,” he said.
SPES beneficiaries, age 17 to 25 years old, will be rendering 22 working days from April 17 to May 17. Each will receive P512 per day, 60 percent of which will be paid by MMDA while 40 percent will be shouldered by Labor department.
Lim is optimistic that the interns will learn significant lessons on urban planning, traffic management, environmental protection, and green governance.
The program is mandated under Republic Act 9547 whose objective is to develop the intellectual capacities of children of poor families and harness their potentials.