Deputy Speaker Santos-Recto to TESDAMAN: Support candidates who rally for job creation

Deputy Speaker Santos-Recto to TESDAMAN: Support candidates who rally for job creation

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Senator Joel Villanueva has found an ally in Batangas Rep.
Vilma Santos-Recto in advocating the creation of jobs and employment
opportunities, especially for millions of displaced workers to allow
them the means to earn a decent living.

Interviewed on “AksyonTime” which aired on A2Z on Saturday night,
Santos-Recto greatly expressed her support to the advocacies of
Villanueva, the chair of the Senate labor committee, as they are
aligned with her own programs and projects in Batangas. The Batangas
lawmaker underscored the importance of backing candidates who champion
the cause of jobs as this would be crucial to the country’s economic

Santos-Recto, who is also a Deputy Speaker and a three-term governor
of Batangas and mayor of Lipa, recalled the value of providing skills
training and jobs to people, which Villanueva has been tirelessly

“People are not asking for more or for millions. Our people only want
to live comfortably, and by that, it means they are able to eat three
times a day. Basta’t mayroong tamang trabaho ang ama ng tahanan, at
kung minsan, pati ngayon ang nanay nila, kailangan nagtatrabaho na
rin,” Santos-Recto recounted to Villanueva, who was TESDA director
general from 2010 to 2015 at the time the agency and the Batangas
provincial government forged several partnerships to provide trainings
and jobs to Batangueños.

In 2014, the Batangas provincial government and TESDA implemented the
Special Training for Employment Program (STEP), a community-based,
specialized training program designed to generate employment at the
grassroots level, which benefited thousands of residents in the
various towns and cities of the province.

Conceptualized during Villanueva’s term as Tesda director general,
STEP likewise provides tool kits to trainees who complete their
respective programs to enable them to practice their newly-acquired
skills. Trainees also receive stipends which serve as seed capital for
their ventures.

“Yung TESDA natin, nagbibigay ng training ‘yan. Nandoon lang sila sa
mga barangay nila, munisipyo o lungsod nila kahit hindi na sila
masyadong lumayo. Ilang days nilang pagdadaanan iyang training na yan,
tapos through TESDA, may mga libreng toolkits pa for them to start. Na
te-train natin sila kahit kaunti, mayroon silang mapagkakakitaan para
sa pang araw-araw nilang panggastos,” Santos-Recto continued. “It’s
one holistic approach, at ang ibinibigay nito ay ang pagkakataong
magkaroon ng trabaho ang ating mga magulang.”

The various programs implemented during Villanueva’s term at TESDA
help elevate the reputation of tech-voc education and training as a
viable means of getting gainful employment, earning him the moniker

During the interview, Villanueva and Santos-Recto also enumerated the
laws that they both authored such as the Doktor Para sa Bayan Law and
the Universal Healthcare Law. The TUPAD Emergency Employment Bill,
which is already in the pipeline, is also being pushed by both
lawmakers in their respective chambers.

“Senator Joel, may I take this opportunity to thank you because I have
learned a lot from you noong pinupuntahan mo ako sa kapitolyo and then
thousands ‘yung mga kababayan natin doon sa gym at nag-share ka sa
kanila kung gaano kahalaga ang pagkakaroon ng trabaho at kung paano
magkaroon ng trabaho.”

“We’re going to have a very crucial next year, crucial year and 2022
because of elections. Pinapanalangin ko po, bumoto po kayo, karapatan
n’yo po yan at ipagdasal po natin, siguraduhin n’yong bigyan nating
tiwala ang mga taong karapat-dapat. Kasi, malaki po ang maitutulong
nila sa pagbawi nating lahat na makabalik tayo sa normal. We need to
work as a team,” Santos-Recto concluded.

For his part, Villanueva said the lawmaker’s sentiment only supported
his call for the closer monitoring of the National Employment Recovery
Strategy (NERS), where TESDA training programs form a critical pillar
of the retooling and reskilling of unemployed workers displaced during
the pandemic.

Unemployment worsened in September with an estimated 4.25 million
workers, or 8.9% of the labor force, having no means of living,
according to PSA data released last week.

“Ngayong New Normal, training po ang kailangan ng ating mga manggagawa
upang makasabay sa kasalukuyang pangangailangan ng ating labor market.
We appeal to TESDA to utilize all its available resources and tap all
sectors and well-meaning stakeholders such as private tech-voc
institutes to train en masse our displaced workers. We cannot fail our
people because we in the government are their last resort for
assistance,” Villanueva said. (ai/mtvn)

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