SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
15 September 2021 07:32:31 PM
The House Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday ended the hearing on the P14.5-billion budget proposal of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for fiscal year 2022. In a hybrid hearing presided over by Vice Chairmen Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe of Zzambonga City and Rep. Luis Campos Jr. of Makati City, Marikina City Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo moved for the termination of the TESDA budget briefing. Quimbo explained that earlier during the hearing, she proposed to cut the budget of TESDA from P14.54-billion to P8 billion, or a reduction of P6.54-billion because of the low utilization rate of the agency. But then subsequently, Quimbo said Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez raised a competing amendment, which is to increase the TESDA budget proposal by P5-billion. “Mr. Chair, I trusted (that) these different recommendations to be taken up at the right time and of course, with all the inputs and analysis that arose in this budget briefing, and with that Mr. Chair, I move to terminate the budget briefing of TESDA,” she said. Quimbo earlier proposed that the budget cut be transferred to other pressing COVID-19 related concerns to be handled by agencies that can absorb the funds. Quezon City Rep. Jesus Suntay said since 2017, there has been increment increase in the budget of TESDA. “But it was also very clear that every year, the unobligated and unutilized portion of the TESDA budget also increased considerably,” Suntay said. TESDA Director-General Isidro Lapeña said the P5.2-billion proposed augmentation is needed by TESDA for the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act. For three years now, he said the law was not given funds. “The P5.2-billion is needed to continue the skills training and education of scholars,: Lapeña said. Rodriguez said the TESDA should be given more funding support as it is the other arm of tertiary education that handles high school graduates, who take technical and vocational courses, and provide them with skills training.