GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Some 20,000 additional training scholarship slots will be opened this year by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for poor and marginalized sectors in Region 12 (Soccsksargen).
TESDA-Region 12 director Rafael Abrogar II said on Monday the preparations are underway for the expansion of its skills training scholarships in partnership with local stakeholders.
He said the move is aimed to provide work and livelihood opportunities to more residents, especially those affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
The scholarships will accommodate qualified residents from the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and South Cotabato, he said.
“All our services and programs have continued despite the continuing Covid-19 pandemic,” Abrogar said in a statement, citing directives from TESDA chief Secretary Isidro Lapeña.
He said the target recipients include indigenous people, rebel returnees, persons with disabilities, persons deprived of liberty, and family members of military and police personnel who were wounded or slain in the line of duty.
The skills training programs are designed to address the needs of the area’s construction, manufacturing, agriculture, electrical, hotel services, and other key economic drivers, he added.
Abrogar urged interested residents to coordinate with their provincial offices and training centers in parts of the region.
Since January, the agency has already opened over 10,000 scholarship slots to qualified residents in the region.
The beneficiaries included former New People’s Army rebels and tribal residents in remote communities that were previously influenced by the group.