Message of support at the TVET graduation and awarding ceremony in the construction industry

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the Message of support at the TVET graduation and awarding ceremony in the construction industry, 1 March 2023, Manila, Philippines

Statement | Manila, Philippines | 01 March 2023
  • Secretary Danilo Cruz, TESDA Director-General and his Deputy Director-General Rosanna Urdaneta who provided all the support during the implementation of this project;
  • Cebu Governor Honourable Gwendolyn Garcia;
  • Cebu City Mayor Honourable Michael Lopez Rama;
  • Mandaue City Mayor Honourable Jonas Cortes;
  • Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Honourable Junard Chan; 
  • Regional Director Gamaliel Vicente and officials at TESDA Region 7;
  • TESDA Provincial Office in Cebu Assistant Regional Director Floro Ringca;
  • Mr Wilfredo Dicena, President of the Philippine Contractors Association;
  • Engineer Francis Gerard Cañedo, President of the Cebu Contractors Association;
  • Ms Paulette Liu, SKILLS Senior Vice-President for HR;
  • His Majesty’s Ambassador to the Philippines and Palau, Her Excellency Laure Beaufils represented by Ms Jemellene Baluyot;
  • Regional partners from industry and tech-voc institutions;
  • Ladies and gentlemen, maayong hapon (good afternoon)!
Graduation is a significant milestone. I am indeed pleased to be with you today. Let me congratulate all the graduates and thank our partners for making this possible.

After this, you will not only build houses and infrastructures, but also a brighter future for yourself and your family.

Region 7 and our partners in the pilot implementation of the ILO Skills for Prosperity (SfP) Programme are highly active in ensuring an inclusive, area-based lifelong learning mechanism with focus on skills upgrading in the construction industry.

The International Labour Organization greatly values this partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Cebu Contractors Association (CCA) to enhance multi-stakeholder mechanisms supporting effective labour market transitions.

These mechanisms are crucial to guaranteeing that skills development programmes are responsive to the current and future industry demands while also targeting those individuals who most need our support.
Without such assistance, vulnerable and marginalized groups tend to encounter difficulties when transitioning from school to work, work to work and in advancing their careers.

To “create more jobs, create quality jobs, and create green jobs,” effective lifelong learning mechanisms are central to the Philippines’ jobs agenda. The Philippine Development Plan 2023 to 2028 envisions that “Filipino learners have access to high-quality lifelong learning opportunities that develop adequate competencies and character qualities which will allow them to thrive in society and the world of work.”

The PDP recognizes that “transformative lifelong learning opportunities shall be instrumental in developing and protecting the capabilities of families to ensure that all Filipinos are able to realize their full potential to keep pace with the envisioned socioeconomic transformation.”

This national vision is reflected in the Decent Work Country Programme of the Philippines and the ILO’s Global Call to Action for an inclusive, sustainable and resilient human-centred COVID-19 recovery.

Thus, our on-going collaboration with TESDA and CCA here in Region 7 focuses on supporting multi-stakeholder partnerships including on public-private financing for skills development; enhancing skills needs anticipation so that information on skills demand is area- and industry-specific; implementing skills development programmes responsive to industry needs while targeting vulnerable and marginalized groups; and strengthening collaboration on vocational guidance and employment services as these are crucial to lifelong learning.

As we work together, we note the country’s efforts to establish a policy framework for lifelong learning as seen in education and training reforms such as the K to 12 programme, enhancement of alternative learning systems, establishment of equivalency programmes and strengthening of area-based TVET delivery systems.

Related to this are capacity-building of employment services through the PESOs such as on career and vocational guidance.

These reforms create the needed policy environment for supporting efforts to enhance TVET here in Region 7. With the high expectation of strong stakeholder commitment after pilot implementation, the ILO believes that what has been demonstrated here can be sustained, scaled up to cover other sectors or industries, and adopted across the country.

In today’s graduation event, let me express the ILO’s continued support to TESDA and the country in their efforts to promote inclusive lifelong learning mechanisms and again, congratulate our construction industry TVET graduates. Our collaborative efforts will certainly improve the lives of these young women and men as they are equipped with in-demand skills.

I wish the graduates continued success. This is only the beginning, so persevere at work and be a lifelong learner!

Daghang salamat (Thank you very much)!