TESDA chief: PH training centers need repairs, new equipment

MANILA, Philippines – Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director-General Guiling Mamondiong said it would be difficult for the country to be globally competitive considering the state of TESDA training centers nationwide.

"Our facilities need repairs, refurbishment, renovation. We have to embark on equipment acquisition. Why? Our equipment are already obsolete. We are so dependent on the private sector to provide the facilities, the equipment, the faculty. What is our government doing?" Mamondiong said during the Education Summit 2016 on Thursday, November 3.

He added: "Had we sat down at TESDA earlier, we would have addressed this through the 2017 budget. I have the commitment of the Department of Budget [and Management] that in 2018, they will help us out."

TESDA's proposed budget for 2017 is P6.8 billion ($140.46 million). For Mamondiong, that is not enough to provide for his agency's needs.

"I pity TESDA. I will not stay here for so long. What is TESDA now? I have been in almost all regions of the country. What I have seen are dilapidated TESDA training centers. How can we be competitive globally when our own training centers are not competitive?" he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

He cited as an example the recently concluded 11th ASEAN Skills Competition in Kuala Lumpur, where the Philippines "ranked almost the last."

"We are almost the last country – 1 gold, 1 silver, 3 bronze, 7 medals of excellence. So sad, that we are capable of producing world-class workers and yet we are not," he explained.

The Education Summit 2016 will end on Friday, November 4. The focus of the two-day summit is the crafting of the Duterte administration's education agenda. – Rappler.com

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Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.