Lac­son: Re­store TESDA’s R14.6-B 2019 bud­get

Manila Bulletin - - National News - By MARIO B CASAYURAN Sen­a­tor Lac­son

Sen­a­tor Pan­filo M. Lac­son on Fri­day pressed for the restora­tion of the R 4.8 bil­lion slashed from the 2019 bud­get of theTech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion and Skills De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (TESDA) so that it could ful­fill its func­tions for the com­ing fis­cal year.

While TESDA’s 2019 bud­get was slashed from R14.676 bil­lion to R9.815 bil­lion sup­pos­edly due to its low obli­ga­tion rate, it was not the fault of the agency, Lac­son said.

Lac­son pointed out that TESDA re­ceived the bud­get from the Com­mis­sion on Higher Ed­u­ca­tion in Septem­ber 2018.

“So there was lit­tle time to ob­li­gate. That is the rea­son why they have a very low obli­ga­tion rate in 2018, only 58 per­cent,” he said at the bud­get de­lib­er­a­tions for the TESDA at the Se­nate ses­sion hall.

“I suppose the low obli­ga­tion rate is the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for not giv­ing them enough money be­cause they could not ab­sorb the money. But it’s not their own do­ing. Had they re­ceived their por­tion of the bud­get ear­lier, they could have ob­li­gated much larger por­tion of their bud­get,” he added.

Lac­son said doc­u­ments fur­nished to him showed the TESDA’s sit­u­a­tion is “pa­thetic,” with its scarcity of funds forc­ing it to serve only 2.7 per­cent of its po­ten­tial clien­tele for the last three years.

He said he is will­ing to help look for other sources of fund­ing for the TESDA’s 2019 bud­get.

“I’d like to re­it­er­ate my ap­peal on be­half of TESDA, give back the R4.8 bil­lion,” he added.

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