GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/09 July) – The national government has allocated an additional P15 million for the opening of more than 2,000 new scholarship grants this year for various technical and vocational (tech-voc) courses and training programs in Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao.
Zeus Ampuyas, regional director of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), said Friday the fresh funds will be utilized to expand the ongoing implementation of the agency’s flagship Training-for-Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) and the Private Education Student Fund Assistance (PESFA) program in the region.
He said the scholarship grants would be mainly offered to “poor but deserving” individuals from the region’s four provinces and five cities.
Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Kidapawan, Tacurong and Cotabato.
Under the TWSP, which was a component of the previous administration’s Pangulong Gloria Scholarship program, the TESDA central office allotted at least 708 new scholarship slots worth P5 million for the entire region, Ampuyas said.
He said 119 slots were set aside for applicants from Sultan Kudarat, 118 for South Cotabato, 132 for North Cotabato, 79 for Cotabato City and 110 for Sarangani and General Santos City.
Ampuyas said they already received earlier this week the training vouchers and the funds allotted for the scholarship component.
He said interested residents may avail of the TWSP grants through tech-voc schools or training institutions duly accredited by TESDA.
He said the scholarship grants may be used for short-term courses or skills training programs such as animal production, agricultural crops production, automotive services, commercial cooking, bartending, computer hardware servicing, 3-D Maya animation and available tech-voc programs.
He said graduates of these training programs would later be eligible to obtain a second level National Certificate or NC II from TESDA.
For the PESFA program, Ampuyas said the TESDA central office allotted another 1,360 scholarship slots worth P10.03 million for Region 12.
He said 165 scholarship slots were allotted for Cotabato City; 116 for General Santos City; 143 for Sarangani; 151 for the first district and 123 for the second district of Sultan Kudarat; 141 for the first district and 209 for the second district of South Cotabato; and, 160 for the first district and 152 for the second district of North Cotabato.
TESDA’s provincial and district offices in the region have started accepting applications from prospective scholars, who may pursue courses related to the five identified key employment generators in Region 12, he added.
Based on a survey earlier conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region 12, the region’s top employment generators are centered on the thriving aquamarine, agribusiness, mining, oil palm, hotel, restaurant and tourism industries in the area. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)