NEWS: Tesda’s Korea-Phils training center in Davao City gets share of “pork barrel” through congressmen’s tech-voc scholars
DAVAO CITY- Much of the income earned from training fees by the Korea-Philippines (Korphil) technical-vocational training center of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority proved to be coming from the priority development assistance fund (PDAF), also referred to as a “pork barrel”, of congressmen who have been funding for the schooling of their own scholars for tech-voc courses.
“Last year Korphil grossed about P10 million from fees for the voc-tech courses we offered and about P7.1 million of which came from the congressional office of Speaker Prospero Nograles,” training department head Gil Gonzales said.
He added that most of the 285 students enrolled at present in the 9 one-training courses of Korphil are scholars mostly from congressmen and a few are scholars of mayors and governors in Davao Region.
Korphil bills the offices of the scholars’ sponsoring congressmen and other officials and individual non-scholar students, and from the receipts Tesda allocates to sustain its training provisions: 50 percent goes for supplies and materials, 20 percent for honoraria of trainors, 15 percent goes to Tesda-XI’s revolving fund and the other 15 percent for Korphil’s revolving fund.
Gonzales said that Korphil has recently started the training of 155 scholars who comprise the first batch of Pangulong Gloria Scholarship.
The President’s scholars would be trained in 12 various short-term courses with a minimum period of 18 days and a maximum of 66 days.
From this, Korphil stands to earn P5,000 to P10,000 training fees payable by the Office of the President.
Korphil, whose 6.4-hectare training complex is located in Bunawan district, north of this city, came to be much improved in looks now after South Korea infused $5 million grant aid in 2004 which funded for the seven buildings including a dormitory and administrative building to upgrade the training facilities and capacity of the Tesda-run training center.
Gonzales said so far they find the process of the scholars choosing Korphil’s offered courses easily beneficial.
“Although we could also provide ways to suit the needs of the funders like trainors for other trainings identified by them but not in the listed courses of Korphil like the trainings sponsored by the congressional office of Speaker Nograles,” he said.
Korphil at present offers one-year training courses which include agricultural machinery and automobile maintenance and repair, mechanical processing, welding and pipefitting, refrigeration and airconditioning, food processing, hotel and restaurant services, information processing and industrial automation and mechatronics technician.
Said courses have some 50 sub-courses with varying national certificate levels from 1 to 4 and training periods.
Asked on who are preferred by Korphil to come in for training, “we don’t discriminate as long as you have the time and you can pay the training fees, you’re welcome,” said Gonzales, the most senior employee for serving 28 years now in Korphil, once an ubiquitously grassy and decrepit training school of the out-of-school youths from provinces then popularly known as the National Manpower Training Center.
He said though that Tesda needs to fill up the unfilled plantilla positions in Korphil to beef up its presently insufficient staff trainors and to also meet the rising demand from local government units and other sectors in Region XI for voc-tech trainings. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)