The Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) is waiting for more relaxed quarantine protocols before going full-blast in conducting skills and livelihood training in areas cleared from the influence of insurgents in Western Visayas.
In an interview Thursday, TESDA regional director Jerry G. Tizon said that 167 barangays are covered by the Poverty Reduction and Livelihood Employment Cluster (PRLEC) of the Western Visayas Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC).
Seventy-four of them were from last year and an additional 93 this 2021.
Of the first batch of 74 covered barangays, Tizon said that around 20 barangays were provided with training by TESDA.
“They already have approved programs; it’s just a matter of implementation. It suffered a setback due to the pandemic,” he said.
Four barangays in Capiz and one in Iloilo that were already provided with assistance are already on their sustaining phase, which means that the recipients have completed their training and assessment.
Meantime, they are still collating and making the necessary coordination with the additional 93 barangays composed of 70 from Negros Occidental, 15 from Iloilo province, and eight from Capiz to determine their needs.
He added that other barangays might be needing interventions that will not necessarily come from TESDA, which sits as chair of the PRLEC.
Nonetheless, TESDA has provincial offices, Technology Institutions, administered schools, and partnerships with technical-vocational institutions (TVIs) to provide the needed learning through the training for work scholarship program (TWSP) and other available scholarships of the agency.
Tizon said they are also trying to launch projects in the covered barangays before the year ends.
Negros Occidental is currently under general community quarantine (GCQ), Capiz also under GCQ but with heightened restrictions, and Iloilo province is under modified enhanced general community quarantine (MECQ). (PNA)