Villanueva declares his Senatorial bid in 2016 elections

October 7, 2015 10:05 am 

By Lily O Ramos

MANILA, Oct. 6 (PNA)–Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) director general Secretary Joel Villanueva formally declared Tuesday afternoon his bid for a senatorial seat in next year's elections.

Villanueva made the declaration during a gathering of technical vocational students at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

Special guest and speaker President Benigno Aquino III did not directly endorse Villanueva as one of the Liberal Party’s senatorial candidates, but he said that Villanueva was one of the most accomplished, consistent and persevering Cabinet members.

The President said that whenever he was invited to any occasion by Villanueva, he saw to it that he was there because he was confident the event would be fruitful and beneficial to the national population.

Villanueva said he was not a hundred per cent sure he would be chosen by the ruling party for the Senatorial race but he would let President Aquino make the announcement within this week

”I am Joel Villanueva, a certified barrista who is applying to be your representative in the Senate,” he said in Filipino amidst the cheering of at least 6,000 TESDA scholars and trainees in the hardcourt, which he considered historical as he formally launched his political career.

Villanueva said that in 2010 when President Aquino asked him to head TESDA, he grabbed the opportunity in full faith to give education, service, job and dignity to people, knowing fully well that he was guided by his father’s teachings and faith in God.

After five years of leading TESDA, it has become an integral part of the country’s education sector in its K to 12 Program which takes full effect in 2016, thus, reducing the nationwide unemployment problem.

“We have come a long way in our efforts to understand and put into action what matters most for the youth and the technical vocational education system,” Villanueva said.

”I say relevant, innovative, accessible, quality should always rock the tech-voc system as it moves forward,” he added.

Villanueva said he would be submitting his resignation as TESDA chief Wednesday.

”It has been a long while; I have already been contemplating to serve the people more.

"When I decided to run for Senate, I already thought of a good substitute among my underlings but then, I respect President Aquino’s decision on who to appoint in my instead," he said.

On the other hand, Villanueva's father Eddie Villanueva, the leader of Jesus is the Lord Movement(JIL), said his son’s wish to be of service to God and his country was left for the heavenly powers to decide.

Speaking to mediamen at the gathering themed “Pagpupugay sa mga TESDA Iskolar” that showcased the successful implementation of TESDA scholarship programs and their achievements, the elder Villanueva admitted supporting his son’s ambition.

The Aquino administration through TESDA strongly supports tech-voc through the provision of funds for various scholarship programs such as the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP), the Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) and the Special Training for Employment Program (STEP).

The President cited in his speech that from June 2010 to Aug. 2015, TWSP has produced a total of 877,943 graduates, while PESFA had a total of 127,232 graduates.

STEP had a total of 43,500 graduates.

TWSP was allotted a budget of Php 5.8 billion from 2010 to 2015, while PESFA was given a Php 1-billion budget for the same five-year period.

STEP, on the other hand, had a budget of Php 1.46 billion from 2014 to 2015.

Outstanding tech-voc graduates were chosen to impart their experience with tech-voc and how it gave them better lives.

Those presented to the President by Villanueva were Merryll Lhorvin Santos of the National Capital Region (NCR), Cristina Reyes of Region 1 and Renji Arcilla of Region 4A. (PNA)



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