President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law seeking to provide free access to technical-vocational education to qualified beneficiaries.
Duterte signed Republic Act 11230 or the “Tulong Trabaho Act” on Feb. 22. A copy of which was only released by the Palace on Wednesday.
According to the document, the new legislation aims to “strengthen the qualifications of the Filipino workforce to meet the challenges of the rapidly evolving workplaces and work structures.”
It also seeks to “provide for more innovative approaches to Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) linked to the requirement of the industry to primarily address unemployment and job skill mismatch,” the RA read.
It also facilitates the access to TVET and encourages the participation of industry and communities in competencies formation and upgrading towards a more Filipino workforce.
Aside from having the mentioned objectives, the new law also mandates the establishment of the Tulong-Trabaho Fund, which shall provide qualified recipients access to TVET programs through the full payment of the selected programs’ training fees and additional financial assistance such as transportation allowance and laboratory fees.
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority will then be tasked to administer the fund.
Under the new law, access to the said fund shall be made accessible to any unemployed person who is at least 15 years old, and not in education and not in training, or employed workers who intend to develop and expand their current skills and trainings.
Meanwhile, existing workers in enterprise-based companies or industries currently trained by their employers shall be excluded from the law’s coverage.
To qualify, industry organizations recognized by TESDA seeking funding for training programs shall submit a list of trainees who have requested assistance from the Tulong-Trabaho Fund to the TESDA regional directors.
TESDA regional directors shall then assess the applicants and submit a list of qualified recipients to the TESDA Director General for approval.
Furthermore, the recipient industry boards shall ensure that at least 80 percent of the beneficiaries are able to pass the Philippine TVET Competency Assessment and Certification System.
“Failure to meet the passing rate shall subject the school or training center to performance review and audit by the TESDA Board,” it said.
The law also mandates the creation of a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the said fund, which shall the power to monitor and review the implementation of the new law.
The Committee would then be composed of three members from the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education and the House Committee on Labor and Employment.
Three members would also be sourced from the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, and the Senate Committee on Education, Arts, and Culture.
“At least one member from the House and one member from the Senate shall represent the minority,” the RA noted.
TESDA has 60 days to craft and promulgate the implementing rules and regulations of the law which will take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.