MANILA – The House of Representatives on Monday approved on final reading a bill that mandates the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to institutionalize technical-vocational education and training (TVET) and livelihood programs designed specifically for drug dependents who have undergone rehabilitation.
House Bill (HB) 7721, which was passed with an overwhelming 260 votes, seeks to help former drug dependents become self-reliant, productive, and employable through TVET and livelihood programs that are focused on competitive and employable skills.
The proposed measure likewise aims to rebuild the confidence of former drug dependents and equip them with skills that they can use to rejoin society and lead meaningful lives.
“Many of our citizens who have fallen victim to illegal drugs and have successfully undergone rehabilitation find it very difficult to reintegrate into society as productive citizens not only because of the stigma but also due to the lack of skills needed to land a job,” Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said in a statement.
“This measure aims to help them become our partners in nation-building by contributing to the betterment of our country through self-reliance, productivity, and being employed in our industries.”
Under the measure, the TESDA Director General is mandated to immediately include in the agency’s program and budget the design and implementation of TVET and livelihood programs that would cater specifically to former drug dependents who have undergone rehabilitation.
It also directs the TESDA, in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), to provide rehabilitated drug dependents with competitive and employable skills that shall enhance their ability to find gainful employment and livelihood opportunities.
Furthermore, HB 7721 mandates the DOLE to provide incentives to companies that employ rehabilitated drug dependents who have undergone the TVET and livelihood training programs under the measure. (PNA)