TESDA inks pact with Central Luzon Freeport Zones

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority headed by Secretary Joel Villanueva signed the historic memorandum of agreement (MOA) for technical cooperation with the heads of the authorities of the Clark, Subic, and Bataan Freeport Zones on July 4, 2012 at the Holy Angel University in Angeles City.

The Freeport Zone Administrators who signed the MOA are (Ret.) Gen. Eduardo Oban Jr. of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC), Roberto Garcia of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), and Atty. Deogracias Custodio of the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB). The agreement, a first in the history of TESDA-Central Luzon, was witnessed by representatives of more than 90 companies and 40 public and private technical institutions from all over Central Luzon, who likewise signed separate MOA en masse for the delivery of TESDA’s Dual Training System (DTS) or RA 7686.

Sec. Villanueva explained that the MOA enables TESDA and the Authorities of the Freeport Zones to pursue effective job skills-matching, policy consultation, conduct of industry studies, competency assessment and certification of workers, and the promotion and implementation of the DTS. “This historic event comes at the most opportune time as we are experiencing vast economic growth in Central Luzon and the country as a whole. (Thus) We need to seize the opportunity to put things in the right track,” he said

CDC-Chief Operating Officer (Ret.) Gen. Oban said that with the MOA, they are now more confident and capable of answering the challenges of the industries especially the company-locators of the Clark Freeport Zone (CFZ). “This partnership boosts our competitive advantage as we strive to entice more foreign investments in the CFZ,” he said.

Atty. Custodio sees the DTS as a catalyst towards empowering Bataan’s skilled workers. “This MOA goes hand in hand with our goal to become competitive in contributing to the economic growth of Bataan and Central Luzon thru the hiring of our own skilled workers. Rest assured that the AFAB will continue to assist TESDA in its effort to promote the DTS in the FAB,” he explained.

Likewise, SBMA Chairman Garcia believes that the MOA is very timely and supportive of their efforts to attract and nurture partnerships with local and foreign investors at the Subic Bay Freeport (SBF). He stressed that thru the MOA, SBMA will be able to address the locators’ need for skilled workforce, even citing a ship building firm which will need as much as 15,000 welders in the next 3-5 years.

Sec. Villanueva expressed his elation to the heads of the Freeports: “Nagpapasalamat po ako sa mga Freeport Administrators na sumusuporta sa layunin ng TESDA upang mabigyan ng oportunidad ang mga skilled workers na magkaroon ng trabaho. Itong MOA ay nagpapatunay lamang na sa TESDA, may choice ka.”

According to TESDA-III Regional Director Ted Gatchalian, the MOA Signing shows how committed TESDA is, specifically Central Luzon, in its efforts to heighten the participation of the industries in the delivery of TESD programs. “July 4-5, 2012 is indeed historic because aside from the Grand MOA Signing, we also have a 2-day Jobs Fair in San Fernando where more than 100 companies are participating,” he said.

He also commended all the partners and cooperators of TESDA-CL who supported these major activities, namely: the City Government of San Fernando thru Mayor Oscar Rodriguez, the officers and members of the Association of Technical Vocational Institutions in Central Luzon (TVIs-Central), JobsDB, DOLE-III, POEA, the members of the press, city and municipal PESOs of Pampanga, the customer services department of the CDC, labor departments of SBMA and AFAB, and the Holy Angel University.

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