Manila, Philippines—The Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) on Thursday (Aug. 24) sealed a five-year formal partnership to expand opportunities for training and upskilling of tourism workers to meet the demands of the tourism industry post-pandemic.
The ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was led by Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco and TESDA Director General Suharto Mangudadatu, with DOT Undersecretaries Mae Elaine Bathan, Ferdinand Jumapao; and TESDA Deputy Director Generals Vidal Villanueva III, Rosanna Urdaneta, and Aniceto Bertiz III as witnesses.
Under the MOA, the cooperating government bodies aim to empower local communities by providing tourism scholarships, enhancing the employable skills of industry stakeholders through training in specific tourism skills; updating and developing Tourism-related Training Regulations (TRs), Competency Standards (CS), competency-based curricula (CBC) and Competency Assessment Tools (CATs) in accordance to new trends, and emerging skills and technologies; collaborate in the implementation of Enterprise-based Trainings (EBT) or Supervised Industry Learning (SIL); and collaborate in the implementation and promotion of the different human capital development programs and services of the parties, including the development and capacitation of the pool of trainers and assessors.
Consequently, a joint technical working group composed of three representatives each from DOT and TESDA will be created to oversee the tasks under the partnership.
“I would like to extend my profound gratitude to TESDA led by the very active and dynamic Secretary Mangudadatu for this partnership with the Department of Tourism that will further the goals of our President’s vision for the transformation of the tourism industry, whose foundation and best asset are no other than the Filipino people,” the tourism chief said in her keynote address.
“This Memorandum of Agreement between TESDA and the DOT will further the development of our human capital in the Philippines, as well as empower individuals to contribute effectively to the recovery, resilience, innovation, and sustainability of the industry in the post-pandemic era,” she added, thanking the agency as well for including tourism as a priority in their National Technical Education and Skills Development Plan.
According to the tourism chief, the initiatives under the partnership will also help support the thrust of the Marcos administration in making tourism “a pivotal and reliable economic pillar for the Philippines fostering prosperity and enriching the lives of millions of Filipinos.”
“But we will not stop at training alone; after training the workers under this partnership, we will ensure that they are employable by capitalizing as well on our existing partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE),” she emphasized.
It can be recalled that among Frasco’s first initiatives as tourism chief was the collaboration with the DOLE to mount the Trabaho, Turismo, Asenso: The 1st Philippine Tourism Job Fairs which had offered more than 21,000 employment opportunities to tourism workers.
For his part, Director General Mangudadatu thanked the DOT for partnering with TESDA.
“I would like to thank Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco for being with us at this momentous event. The signing of this Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Tourism will set another milestone in the development and enhancement of our tourism education,” he said.
“Through this partnership, we will be producing a world-class tourism workforce and competitive human resources in the tourism sector. I am dedicating this partnership to the trainees and college graduates of the tourism program, out-of-school youth, and displaced tourism who are the beneficiaries of the partnership,” he added.
Other partnerships between the DOT and the TESDA also include the implementation of the ASEAN mutual recognition arrangement for tourism professionals and the review and updating of training regulations for industry workers.
The event was part of the series of activities for the TESDA 29th Anniversary and National Tech-Voc Day held at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.
Other government officials present during the event are National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Secretary Guiling Mamondiong, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Rear Admiral Eustacio Nimrod Enriquez, National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) Chairperson Allen Capuyan, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Chief Jail Director Ruel Rivera, and Government Academe Industry Network (GAIN) Chairman Peter Laurel.