The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is ready to assist and provide scholarships to repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from the Middle East, Secretary Isidro Lapeña confirmed on Thursday.
“TESDA is ready for the possible, untimely return of OFWs, numbering to thousands as reported. We will provide scholarships, including free assessment and certification,” Lapeña told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in a message.
He added that he had already instructed staff to meet the OFWs at the airports when they arrive and to offer them their assistance.
OFWs in the Middle East may be repatriated due to the tension between Iran and the United States. According to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, at least 13 OFWs from Iraq arrived in Manila on Wednesday.
Since 2018, TESDA has OFWs’ desks at the country’s international airports. Here, the OFWs could inquire about TESDA courses how they can avail of these.
OFWs are among TESDA’s priority clients or beneficiaries, aside from former rebels, drug surrender’s, and indigenous people.
TESDA has been offering the OFWs competency assessment, certificate verification, renewal or replacement of national certificates, and assistance for training programs.
According to TESDA, as of November 2019, more than 11,000 OFWs have already availed of different training and services. About half (6,545) of them have availed of scholarship.
Meanwhile, those who would decide to stay in the Philippines for good may avail of the Training for Work Scholarship Program, which was designed to cater to those who might want to become entrepreneurs.
Scholars of this program are provided with toolkits, which they could use for baking, dressmaking, among others. (PNA)