Over 274,000 scholars of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority from across the country would receive their allowances via the mobile wallet, GCash, in 2021, Sec. Isidro Lapeña said.
“With the pandemic that we are still facing, this is the safest way to distribute the allowances of the scholars without them getting exposed to the risk of contracting the coronavirus. This is also a more efficient mode, with shorter processing time. Scholars only need to download the app and register their account,” Lapeña said.
He added that this would enable Tesda scholars to fully use their allowance since they would not need to allot transportation expenses from going to and from Tesda provincial or district offices to get their allowances.
“Our partnership with GCash will make our scholars’ enrollment more convenient in terms of claiming their allowances,” Lapeña said, adding that Tesda inked an agreement with GCash last Dec. 9.
Based on Tesda’s target for 2021, the agency projects 274,577 scholars who can avail of this mode of allowance distribution.
He said GCash will still be part of the mode of payment of allowances to scholars even after the pandemic.
In Tesda Circular 078, s. 2020 on Amended/Supplemental Guidelines on Tesda Scholarship Programs under the new normal, 50 percent of the training support fund will be given to the scholars within two weeks from the start of the training. The remaining amount shall be released if the scholar has attended 80 percent of the training.
Lapeña, meanwhile, clarified that Tesda is also open to partner with other e-wallet services.
“We made a research about the existing mobile wallets in the country, and our study showed that GCash has the widest reach among other e-wallets. As of 2019, it has 20 million subscribers and it tops the app downloads,” he said, explaining why Tesda has chosen to partner with GCash.
“While we now have this agreement with GCash, Tesda is not closing possible partnership with other e-wallets which can deliver the same services,” he said.
Lapeña said Tesda had also considered partnering with Land Bank, but was informed that it will take them 30 days to process scholars’ enrollment and release the prepaid card.
“We need a faster system for allowance distribution that is more ideal for our short-term courses,” Lapeña said. – PNA