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TESDA sets up regional desks for OFWs

All regional and provincial offices of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) have set up their own Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) desks.


This was upon the directive of TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña following the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte where the president asked TESDA to come up with special training programs to retool OFWs to easily find employment opportunities here in the country.

Apart from OFW desks, Lapeña also directed all TESDA offices to designate OFW focal persons who will prioritize all the concerns of the OFWs by providing information about the TESDA’s programs and services.

They also need to male sure they will be included in TESDA scholarship programs. TESDA OFW focals shall also coordinate with OFW groups to immediately address their issues and concerns and shall also tap skilled OFWs who are willing to assist TESDA with its training programs.

The TESDA chief added that the designated OFW focal persons should coordinate with the provincial government.

“Our local government units will continue to be our close partners in this initiative. We need their help in designing training programs for our OFWs that are suitable for the local industry,” Lapeña said.

As part of its banner program during this pandemic dubbed as “TESDA Abot Lahat: TVET Towards the New Normal”, the agency continues to prioritize the overseas workers through “TESDA Abot Lahat ang OFWs” which deployed OFW Malasakit Desks in every international airport in the country.

TESDA has provided special and accessible registration for returning OFWs applying for scholarships through the TESDA mobile app. OFWs were also invited to take online courses on the TESDA Online Program (TOP) for their reskilling or upskilling needs.

As of July 12, 2020, there are already 56,417 OFWs including their relatives who have registered for the TOP. The number rose after Lapeña personally taught the OFWs how to register to TOP through the TESDA mobile app during his online consultation with them last May.

TESDA has also started developing full TVET online courses such as Aquaponics for Urban Agriculture, Organic Agriculture, and courses under construction trades such as Electrical Installation and Maintenance, and Plumbing which can be useful for displaced OFWS who will need more options for skills training as they reintegrate into the Philippine economy.

“As instructed by the President, we will make sure that we will be able to retool our OFWs, for employment or livelihood as they rebuild their lives again here in the country,” Lapeña added. 

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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