Senator Joel Villanueva, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Education, welcomed the passage of free technical-vocational education bill on third and final reading in the House of Representatives on Monday.
The counterpart version, Senate Bill No. 1431 or the proposed Tulong Trabaho Act, was approved on third and final reading in the Senate on May 5, 2017.
The measure seeks to narrow the gap of unemployment in the country by providing free tech-voc training and improving the skills of Filipinos who chose not to pursue tertiary education.
"As the principal author and sponsor of the bill's counterpart version, we would like to underscore that tech-voc has proven to be a viable option especially for those who want immediate employment. In fact, 7 out of 10 tech-voc graduates easily find decent jobs due to the high demand of skilled workers here and abroad," Villanueva said.
Villanueva believes that poor students choose to take tech-voc courses certainly because they cannot afford to finance college education expenses such as the cost for living allowance and instructional materials.
The bill, which seeks to establish a Tulong-Trabaho Fund, also has the possibility of providing additional financial assistance such as transportation allowance and laboratory fees.
Moreover, the bill promises to address job-skills mismatch by establishing a Philippine Labor Force Competencies Competitiveness Program that is based on Labor Market Intelligence Reports.
"We thank and congratulate our colleagues in both Houses for helping us push for this measure. We believe that if the government makes tech-voc education free for students, our people especially the youth, will have a brighter future ahead," Villanueva said.