The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Palawan has opened a new diploma program in hotel and restaurant technology.

With 25 students in the program so far, the new course is expected to help train skilled workers for the tourism industry as it improves.

Regional Director Ma. Angelina Carreon explained that the diploma course scholarship will run for three years, with a TESDA certification given out each year.

“Every semester, meron siyang TESDA Certification na yon ay magagamit niya for employment,” she said.

“This is good assistance, na maibigay sa mga kababayan natin, and at the same time, we are also helping the institutions. Meron siyang assured budget allocation for three years. Ang mga high school graduates ay hindi maka-count in the unemployment statistics kasi nasa education system for three years,” Carreon added.

Demetrio Alvior, city tourism officer, said that this program is timely in the gradual recovery of the local tourism industry after the impact of the pandemic.

He added that jobs are waiting for the pioneer batch after completing the three-year program.

“This is timely dahil halos lahat ng accommodation at restaurant ay talagang nag-close. This year ay unti-unting bumabangon ang ating tourism. Most of our accommodations and restaurants ay open but with limited staff—kulang na kulang ang ating manpower sa tourism dahil sa pandemic, I hope na with this program ay ma-uplift ang quality ng worker ng tourism industry,” he said.

According to TESDA, the local establishments are also in need of manpower to work as housekeepers, front officers, and food servers. Pamela Ponce De Leon-Garcia, of the Ponce De Leon Garden Resort and chair of the Puerto Princesa School of Arts and Trades (PPSAT) advisory council, said that it will further enhance the skills of locals in the industry.

She also noted that “this is a game changer in the tourism industry of the province,” observing the quality of students produced by the TESDA-PPSAT through her experience in hospitality management.

The diploma program is offered through the Puerto Princesa School of Arts and Trades (PPSAT). In the MIMAROPA area, there are already six diploma programs, and Carreon challenged PPSAT to offer five more diploma programs in the next few years.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.