'TESDA owes various skills training centers P1 billion'
- Marvin Sy () - April 25, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Nacionalista Party senatorial candidate Susan Ople called on Malacañang to look into the over P1 billion reportedly owed by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to several accredited skills training centers, accumulated under the leadership of former secretary Augusto Syjuco.

In a statement, Ople said the TESDA distributed scholarship vouchers under the Pangulong Gloria scholarship program in amounts that were way beyond what the agency could afford.

Ople, a former labor undersecretary, said several owners of training centers approached her to complain about the unpaid vouchers.

She said the TESDA has accumulated around P2 billion in payables to the training centers but its budget for this purpose is just P700 million.

“These accredited skills training centers accepted the scholars in good faith and enrolled them in short courses, relying on TESDA’s promise to foot the bill. Unfortunately, some of these schools have closed down or are on the verge of bankruptcy because TESDA distributed more vouchers than it could afford,” Ople said.

“Which center gets paid and which ones would have to wait till the next administration to collect on these vouchers? And who will hold former Secretary Augusto Syjuco accountable for this mess, especially if he wins as congressman in Iloilo?” she said.

Ople said Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza should look into the brewing crisis at TESDA and salvage what she said was a good program. 

“I am raising this issue in behalf of owners of affected training centers who are afraid that their chances of collecting from government would be jeopardized once they come out in public,” Ople said.

She said it is ironic that a program set up to promote jobs ended up eliminating existing jobs due to the closure of more training centers.

“Some of these centers are already on the brink of bankruptcy, unable to pay their rent, utilities, and staff,” she said.

 

AUGUSTO SYJUCO CENTERS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY LEANDRO MENDOZA ILOILO MALACA NACIONALISTA PARTY OPLE PANGULONG GLORIA SECRETARY AUGUSTO SYJUCO SUSAN OPLE TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
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