Ople bares brewing crisis in TESDA

April 24, 2010 10:41 pm 

MANILA, April 24 —Nacionalista Party senatorial bet Susan "Toots" Ople warned of an impending crisis at the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) as more accredited skills training centers demand payment for multi-million worth of scholarship vouchers issued by the agency under the Pangulong Gloria scholarship program.

Ople, a former labor undersecretary, said she had been approached by several owners of training centers to complain about unpaid vouchers.

"These accredited skills training centers accepted the scholars on good faith and enrolled them in short courses relying on TESDA's promise to foot the bill. Unfortunately, some of these schools have closed down or are at the verge of bankruptcy because TESDA distributed more vouchers than it could afford," she said.

As a result, TESDA owes various training centers an accumulated amount of P2 billion, over and above this year's P700 million allocation for the scholarship program. "Which center gets paid and which ones would have to wait till the next administration to collect on these vouchers? And who will hold former Secretary Augusto Syjuco accountable for this mess especially if he wins as congressman in Iloilo?"

Ople also urged Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza to look into the brewing crisis at TESDA and salvage what started out to be a good program.

"I am raising this issue in behalf of owners of affected training centers who are afraid that their chances of collecting from government would be jeopardized once they come out in public," Ople said.

Ople said it was ironic that a program set up to promote jobs end up eliminating existing jobs due to the closure of more training centers.

"Some of these centers are already at the brink of bankruptcy, unable to pay their rent, utilities, and staff," Ople said.(PNA)



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