We need a Tesdaman in the Senate

January 9, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 314 views

RyanWHILE the government has been working very hard to provide help and other forms of assistance to Super Typhoon Odette-hit provinces, the proposal of reelectionist Sen. Joel “TESDAMAN” Villanueva to equip the victims with basic constructions skills to rebuild their houses and become employable is worthy of support.

I personally witnessed the devastation created by Odette when I covered the BBM-Sara UniTeam’s relief mission in Southern Leyte, Siargao Island, Butuan City, Dinagat Islands, Cebu, and other badly hit provinces.

They need long-term help from the government and private sector to ensure the implementation of sustainable rehabilitation of their communities.

Villanueva, chairman of the Senate committee on labor, suggested the fine-tuning of existing programs of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to address the needs of typhoon victims by deploying trainers who will provide the necessary skills and training to the people.

Under his proposal, Villanueva, a former TESDA secretary-general, the beneficiaries will be given an allowance to cover a part of their basic needs as they get back on their feet.

The training-cum-production (TCP) method provides practical skills and experience for trainees to use the knowledge they gain.

“Beneficiaries of the program could undergo a competency assessment test which leads to a national certification II. They can be hired in construction projects or even be self-employed,” Villanueva said.

The proposal is not new. During Villanueva’s helm at TESDA, he implemented a TCP program in regions which were hit hardest by Typhoon Pablo in 2012.

The program covered various construction related skills training such as carpentry, masonry, electrical wiring, among others.

When Yolanda struck in 2013, TESDA mounted the “Pandayan Project” where residents in hardest-hit provinces were given a crash course on basic principles of carpentry and electrical repairs, which includes a hands-on application of the practical skills.

Villanueva shared that the trainings adopted a community-based approach to allow community members to band together in building structures in their neighborhoods through bayanihan.

The good thing, participants were provided tool kits and materials they needed.

I hope TESDA will consider this very significant and meaningful proposal from Villanueva that would bring valuable change to the lives of typhoon victims.

Villanueva, who was conferred the prestigious Order of Lakandula by then President Benogno “Aquino” III for his performance as TESDA chief, is a good man and a great leader.

He is a dedicated public servant, father and his brilliant leadership made impact to the lives of many Filipinos, especially in providing jobs and livelihood. Villanueva placed second in the 2016 senatorial race with 18,459,222 votes.

He authored so many laws, including the Telecommuting or Work-From-Home Law, the Free Tuition Law, the Doktor Para sa Bayan Law, the First Time Jobseekers Law, and the Tulong-Trabaho Law.

Villanueva was also instrumental in raising the allocation for the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers TUPAD program, which was meant to provide financial assistance to workers displaced by the pandemic, from P6 billion to P19 billion to cover more workers.

I knew him and his father, Deputy Speaker for Good Governance and Moral Uprightness Eduardo “Bro. Eddie” Villanueva, personally.

I covered Joel Villanueva for nine years in the House of Representatives where he represented the Citizens Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) party-list from 2001 to 2010 (12th, 13th and 14th

Among senatorial aspirants, Villanueva deserves a second term and we need a TESDAMAN in the Senate.