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TESDA opens help desk in Bulacan, salutes women graduates
by eTESDA PMU - Wednesday, 3 December 2014, 11:46 AM
People in need of information on scholarships and programs of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) can turn to its newly-opened help desk in Bulacan.

TESDA, in partnership with Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC), recently opened a Specialista Desk at the Robinsons Lingkod Pinoy Center at Robinsons Place Malolos in Malolos City, Bulacan to make the agency's programs and services more accessible to the public.

As it expands its reach to more people, TESDA continues with its skills training program as a fresh batch of women sari-sari store and carinderia owners under the Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) Program finished their course.

The graduates completed the 12-week session focused on basic entrepreneurship training and facilitation of access to business resources, such as micro-loans and merchandising support. The STAR Program is an initiative being spearheaded by Coca-Cola Philippines Inc.

TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva, local officials led by Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and Vice Governor Daniel Fernandez, and Coca-Cola representatives headed by Gilda Maquilan, sustainability manager and National Program Management Team chairperson for the Coca-Cola program, attended the graduation ceremony held in the morning of December 2 at the Colegio de Calumpit Gymnasium in Calumpit, Bulacan.

The skills training under the STAR Program aims to economically empower 200,000 women traditional retailer store owners, operators and carinderia owners by 2020.

"In an increasingly competitive economy, the country's strength will depend upon the education and skills of its workers. The TESDA programs with partner institutions like Robinsons and Coca-Cola will see to it that our youth will not be left behind," Villanueva said.

"We will continue to work with the private sector and local government units, create education partnerships, develop more skills-based courses and make these services more accessible to the people," he said.

Meanwhile, the launch of the TESDA Specialista Desk at Robinsons Place Malolos was highlighted by the distribution of scholarship vouchers to deserving youth to allow them to receive technical vocational training in a course of their choice.

Villanueva was also joined by local government officials and representatives of Robinsons during the event.

As a special feature to the opening of the help desk, technical vocational institutions also sponsored skills demonstration on bartending, table skirting and robotics, and gave free services to the people such as massage therapy and haircutting.

In May 2013, TESDA and RLC signed a Memorandum of Agreement creating the desks, which became operational in Robinsons' 15 malls across the country.

From July 2013 to August 31, 2014, the TESDA desks have catered to a total of 33, 436 people who have approached the desks or booth for information about the agency and its programs.

In September this year, TESDA and RLC renewed their tie-up to widely promote technical vocational education to target clientele. END