The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Mimaropa is aiming to increase the number of training providers in the region to get more budget allocation for scholarship programs in every province.

Regional Director Ma. Angelina Carreon said that other private technical vocational education and training (TVET) providers were closed due to the pandemic. The decreased number of TVET providers resulted in limited scholarship slots.

“Before pandemic, a lot of our TVET providers were offering tourism. Nong nagpandemic, nag-stop at saka yong hilot and wellness. Nong pandemic talagang stop. The providers were encouraged to offer other programs, ito yong agriculture, construction. Kung di kaya ng school na mag-realign o change ng program offering then di talaga sya mabibigyan ng scholarship,” she said.

“I need to remind the TTIs yong role namin as main provider of TVET kasi very few pa lang. Like for example, during the pandemic, there are private institutions that really opt to close down because of the pandemic tapos limited ang scholarship slots natin,” she said.

Carreon used to run the scholarship program at TESDA’s central office. There, she saw that MIMAROPA only gets between P300 million and P350 million out of a total budget of P10 billion.

As per the record, there are almost 30 TVET providers in Palawan, which is second only to Oriental Mindoro with the largest number of providers in the region. The TESDA technology training institute (TTI) in Palawan, Puerto Princesa School of Arts and Trades (PPSAT), offers around 34 skill training programs.

She added that the TVET providers in Palawan should also offer more programs in construction, transport and logistics, and information and communication technology (ICT). The funding from local government units for skills training will also be helpful to equip locals with the needed training from their area, she added.

Aside from these programs, Carreon is also looking forward to more diploma programs being offered in the province. It will help to maximize the provision of free TVET for private and public TTIs under Republic Act 10931, or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.

The PPSAT recently offered a diploma program in hotel and restaurant technology. Carreon also wants to bring tourism back to Palawan through farming, which would help the economy recover after the pandemic.

“Ang assistance na pwede natin mabigay sa TESDA yon nga yong scholarship pero it’s not enough na mabigyan ng one million. Ang one million mo na allocation for the year ay two to three batches lang yan. How to operate a school, one million is not enough. Napaka-expensive, high investment tayo pagdating sa technical education,” she said.

As the new regional director after former director Dante Navarro, Carreon said that increasing the number of providers and programs is part of her plan to “consolidate and streamline systems” in MIMAROPA.

“A challenge for me is to lead a region na composed of island provinces, how do we connect despite the disconnected nature of the provincial offices—I need to consolidate everything, how do we now be strategic in the region, supporting, of course, the priority industry of the region, challenges of the MIMAROPA,” she said.

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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.