Participants of the ICP Philippines with TESDA officials, seated left to right: Dir. Yolanda Porschwitz (OIC, TESDA Regional Office VI); Dir. Felicidad Zurbano (Director, NTTA); Dr. Mohammad Naim Yaakub (CPSC Director General); Atty. Teodoro Pascua (Deputy DG for Field Operations); Mr. Francisco Jucar (Executive Director, Office for TESDA Technology Institutions) and Dir. Sonia Lipio (Executive Director of the Regional Coordinating Office/TESDA Training Center: Taguig Campus Enterprise)

The Philippines, with its recent impressive economic growth in the region, is poised to attract big industries in the coming years. This possibility is further strengthened by the recent upgrade of Philippines to Investment Grade by Moody’s Investors Service, completing the nation’s ascent to investment rank in a growth resurgence that’s leading Southeast Asia. This trend will continue to translate into bigger opportunities for its citizens for gainful employment, and therefore highlights the need for TVET providers to cater to the demand of the industries for multi-skilled workers in and outside of Philippines. The relationship of TVET and industry should be mutually beneficial in order to generate significant changes in the Philippine labor environment, which stresses for a change in the pattern of interactions between both parties and the identification of common platforms for cooperation.

This is the main focus of the In-Country Program on Making TVET-Industry Partnerships Work in the Philippines, which is being conducted by the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) in collaboration with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Philippines and the National TVET Trainers Academy (NTTA), Philippines. The program is being held from October 14 to 18, 2013 at the Tandang Sora Hall of the TESDA Women’s Center, TESDA Headquarters, Taguig City, Philippines. Thirty-four (34) Vocational School Administrators (VSA) and Supervisors (VSS), industry partners and lecturers from the 17 regions across the country participate in the program.

The participants are expected to fulfill the following objectives upon the culmination of the program:

  1. explain the need and principles of training institutions and industry partnerships in TVET;
  2. understand concepts, features, mechanisms and frameworks of public-private partnerships for TVET system;
  3. analyze the existing local practices and models of TVET—industry linkages; and
  4. formulate suggestive frameworks of strategies, activities and functions for establishing a vibrant TVET industry linkages.

High-level TESDA officials namely: Dir. Felicidad Zurbano (Director, NTTA); Mr. Francisco B. Jucar (Head, Office for TESDA Technology Institutions); and Atty. Teodoro C. Pascua (Deputy Director General, TESDA) graced the opening ceremonies of the program. The three officials cited the beneficial partnership of the agency and CPSC in executing a relevant program that truly addresses the concerns of TVET in the country. They also cited the importance of promoting the TVET-industry partnership in producing participants which are both trainable and employable, which they consider as the key characteristics of a TVET worker. They also encouraged the participants to apply the knowledge they have gained in the program in keeping the balance between the demands of the industry and the capacity of the institutions in imparting relevant skills to the trainees.

In response, the CPSC Director General Dr. Mohammad Naim Yaakub, in his opening remarks, expressed that CPSC recognizes the need for TVET to capitalize on the growing economy of the Philippines through a more vigorous partnership between TVET and the industries. He also encouraged the participants to further promote a more respectable and inclusive TVET by creating an environment for effective knowledge transfers and innovations. He also acknowledged the efforts placed by the staff, local coordinators and partner-organizers in ensuring the smooth flow of the program and in line with this he hoped for the continued beneficial partnership between TESDA and CPSC that has been shared for many years. Dr. Naim, heads the overall implementation of the program as Program Supervisor, while Dr. Hazrat Hussain, CPSC Faculty Consultant, takes charge of the coordination together with Dir. Zurbano as Program Coordinators.

Dr. Naim Yaakub, CPSC Director General, imparts his special lecture titled: “Linking TVET with Economic Development” to the participants at the opening day of the CPSC-TESDA ICP.