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Sec. Joel, Gov. Ebdane Unveil Testing Center in Zambales

The heavy downpour and gusty wind brought by tropical storm Labuyo did not stop Secretary Joel Villanueva, TESDA Director General, in unveiling a technical education and skills development (TESD) facility in Zambales on August 12, 2013.

He unveiled the TESDA-Zambales Assessment Center for Tourism with Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. and Vice Gov. Ramon Lacbain II in simple ceremonies held at the TESDA compound in Palanginan, Iba, Zambales. Also present were former Cong. Jun Omar Ebdane, Iba Vice Mayor Jun Farin, TESDA-3 Regional Director Ted Gatchalian, and TESDA-Zambales OIC Provincial Director Virgie Bondoc.

“Despite the bad weather, we did not pass on this opportunity to unveil Zambales’ Competency Assessment Center for Tourism, that will boost our efforts in upgrading the skills of the Zambaleños,” said Sec. Villanueva.

“With the implementation of the K to 12 Basic Education Program, we need more assessment centers and competency assessors to answer the needs of millions of grades 11 and 12,” he explained.

The testing center offers assessment in housekeeping and food and beverage servicing for tech-voc students, industry workers and OFWs. According to RD Gatchalian, it was built in 2012 with funding assistance from the Provincial Government of Zambales headed Gov. Ebdane and Vice Gov. Lacbain, as part of its commitment to empower the Zambaleños thru relevant TESDA

Sec. Villanueva also turned over to Gov. Ebdane the ceremonial key to the mobile training bus equipped with tools and equipment that will stay in the province for at least three months to deliver trainings in the far-flung barangays.

“If our young and unemployed kababayans cannot go to the TESDA training centers, TESDA will reach them thru this Mobile Training Plus Program (MTPP),” he said.

RD Gatchalian explained that tech-voc skills training, to be delivered free thru the agency’s scholarship, can now reach the poor families of far flung localities in the region via a bus which was converted into a mini-training unit, complete with facilities and tools. “The MTPP, also known as the TESDA Park and Train Program was launched by Secretary Joel Villanueva last year, which we deliver with the support of our local government units,” he said.

Electronics will be the first course to be offered. Other programs that may be delivered include: electrical installation and maintenance, computer hardware servicing and other skills and qualifications needed by the community. After 2-3 months, the ‘mobile training workshop’ will transfer to other municipalities to conduct more batches of training.
The MTPP was launched in early 2012 after TESDA received several units of buses as donations from Genesis Transportation Inc., one of the agency’s partners in promoting TVET. However, Central Luzon has the luxury of having its own bus unit, which can be rolled out all over the provinces of the region.

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