June 23, 2024

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Cordillera has conferred the completion of a three-year diploma course to 53 young people who initially availed of the free tertiary education from the agency.

Vilma Tolarba, designate information officer of the Baguio City School of Arts and Trades (BCSAT), said of the 53 scholars, 23 were graduates of the two-year Diploma in Culinary Arts; 10 were graduates of the three-year Diploma in Culinary Arts; and 20 were graduates of the three-year Diploma in Hospitality Supervision.

The courses, which specialize in different trade skills under the hospitality program of the Tesda, took longer to complete because of the pandemic.

“The courses are patterned from the university system but with limited minor subjects and more laboratory and practical engagements,” she said.

There were originally 66 scholars at the start of the program in 2018 it but took more months to complete considering the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing the scholars to finish the requirements only in May 2022.

The graduates are the first holders of the 12 national certificates which are recognized locally and abroad to start a livelihood or for employment purposes.

The 53 are the first batch of graduate scholars of the pilot implementation of the Philippine Qualification Framework Level 5 diploma program of Tesda-CAR provided for in the Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (UAQTEA) signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte in April 2017.

The UAQTEA gives Filipinos the opportunity to avail of free tertiary education in both public and private institutions, which after completion qualifies the holder to the ladderized program leading to a bachelor’s degree.

The scholars are provided a training support fund of P160 per day for 18 weeks to complete the semester, one-year accident insurance, P5,000 book allowance, internet allowance, P500 for personal protective equipment, P450 workshop uniform, and tool kits after graduation.

“Skills remain to be the global currency up to this time. Before you can get into an industry whether private or public, skills are needed. It does not work if PM (private message) is the key. Skills are the key to getting hired, hard-earned skills and training,” said keynote speaker Evangeline Payno of the Baguio Country Club.

She added: “I congratulate BCSAT and Tesda for completing its mission to educate, and for leading the way for our tech-voc graduates to open new doors and opportunities to participate constructively in the global economy, engaging policy and advance specific life society by using information technology and skills to produce a flexible labor force that will react effectively to the labor market.” – PNA