To better inform the OFWs of the assistance they can get from the government agency, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) announced that it is has set up desks catering to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) at international airports in the Philippines.
TESDA specialist Nelson Efren told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday that TESDA’s assistance to OFWs is not limited to the repatriated ones and those who are from Kuwait.
“Any OFW can avail of TESDA’s assistance. It was the directive of (TESDA) Director General Guiling Mamondiong to prioritize the OFWs,” he said.
Efren added that the OFWs also need retraining and skills upgrade, whether or not they opt to stay.
Specifically, TESDA has placed the OFWs’ desks at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Clark International Airport, Davao International Airport, and at the Terminals 1 and 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The OFWs’ desks were mounted in NAIA on Wednesday, May 16.
TESDA Director General Guiling Mamondiong earlier announced that the agency would prioritize the repatriated OFWs in its free technical vocational (tech-voc) courses.
Mamondiong also instructed the agency’s district, provincial, and regional directors to provide retraining assistance to the distressed OFWs, particularly those from Kuwait.
The agency earlier announced it would provide free training, assessment, training support fund, food, and transportation allowance of PHP100 per day to repatriated OFWs.
The OFW desks are open from Mondays through Fridays. Efren said these are open throughout the day, but the time when the desk would open or close depends on the flight details of the returning OFWs.
Basically, the desks were mounted to guide the OFWs about the courses available from TESDA, and how they can avail of these.
OFWs can also get a “Certificate of Commitment” at the desks.
“For those who plan to stay here in the Philippines for good, they can get this certificate to avail of TESDA’s Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP),” he said.
He explained that availing of the TWSP is tailored for those who plan to go into entrepreneurship.
“Because under the TWSP, scholars are also provided with toolkits. This is suitable for those who would like to take baking, manicure-pedicure, dressmaking courses, for example, because they will be given toolkits, which they could use right away for business,” Efren explained.
Efren, who was manning the desk at NAIA Terminal 1 on Thursday, said three OFWs got a certificate there, while only one OFW availed of the certificate on Wednesday.
“Maybe because the desk is still new. Most of the OFWs who have approached us (today) were asking information and direction,” commented Eden Tugade, who was also manning the desk at NAIA Terminal 1.
Both Tugade and Efren said only about 25 OFWs approached the desk at NAIA Terminal 1 on Wednesday.
In photo: READY To HELP. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority ‘OFWs’ Desks’ at the country’s international airports inform the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) about the assistance they can get from the agency. Above is the TESDA OFWs’ Desk at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 on Thursday (May 17, 2018). (Photo by Ma. Cristina Arayata)