Issue of March 10, 2019
Mt. Province

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IPs in Cordillera to get more access to tech-voc education
by Pamela Mariz Geminiano / PNA

More members of indigenous cultural communities in the region’s six provinces will be given access to technical-vocational education and training that will make them eligible for employment.

“Establishing the Cordillera State Institute of Technical Education (CSITE) will address the urgent and critical need for the development of a world-class Filipino workforce who are equipped with practical technical skills who are globally competent and responsive to the needs of both the domestic and global job market,” said Manuel Wong, officer-in-charge of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Cordillera.

Wong was reacting to President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of Republic Act 11192 establishing the CSITE on Jan. 18.

Wong said aside from short-term specialty courses, there will also be a one year to three years certificate courses that will be offered by the institute.

He said CSITE will offer higher level of competencies, particularly the maximum competency requirements of Level V or diploma level of the Philippine Qualifications Framework.

Wong said CSITE will also cater to out-of-school youth, persons with disabilities, and other special sectors to acquire necessary skills for employment.

Wong said that in 2018, there were 3,402 members of the IP community in Benguet, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Kalinga, Abra and Apayao who availed of scholarship for skills under the tech-voc program, of whom 3,389 finished their respective courses.

He said CSITE will provide access to the development of technicians and technologists in critical occupations.

The new law provides for an education that is aligned with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations integration framework and such other mutual international exchange agreements for technical-vocational skills.

“With the establishment of the CSITE, there will be greater academe-industry collaboration, expanded partnerships with local and international institutions, program exchanges and internship training for the IP community,” he said.

Wong said that with the passage of the law, the Tesda training centers run by local government units of Abra, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province, Apayao will be converted as extension campuses of the CSITE.

Baguio Rep. Marquez Go, who authored the bill in Congress, said there will be additional vocational programs offered, such as agriculture-related training, industry technology skills training, tourism and hospitality-related courses, livelihood skills development courses, basic business literacy, technical-vocational occupation and trades skills.

Other programs to be offered also include computer literacy and information technology, seminars on personality development and other preferred priority skills and trades training courses.

Go said there is also a possible establishment of research and technology hubs, mobile training programs, and satellite or extension training centers throughout the region.

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