Tesda-Davao intensifies innovation, skills development to meet industry demands

Tesda-Davao intensifies innovation, skills development to meet industry demands

INNOVATION and digitalization are currently two of the highest-priority programs of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority-Davao Region (Tesda-Davao), aimed at meeting the evolving digital demands as outlined in the National Technical Education and Skills Development Plan (NTESDP) 2023-2028.

Out of over 300 programs in Davao, training focused on technological applications will be intensified through benchmarking systems and collaborations with foreign countries. This strategic approach will ensure that ICT services keep pace with the demands of the agriculture, construction, and tourism industries.

“That is why we do many benchmarkings. We benchmarked in Singapore, Germany, and so many more. Ang digital transformation initiatives karon nato, na-biyaan nata sa ubang nasod. Maong naga-focus pud ta ani (Our current digital transformation initiatives lag behind those of other countries. That's why we're focusing on digital),” Tesda-Davao regional director Ashary Banto bared in an interview, Tuesday morning, April 30, 2024, on the sidelines of the dialogue with Local Chief Executives and Community Training and Employment Coordinators of Davao Region.

He disclosed that the national government has allocated a total budget of P17 billion for 2024, exceeding the P15.2 billion in 2023. This increase follows the comprehensive institutionalization of “Tesda sa Barangay,” Secretary Suharto Mangudadatu's flagship program, which aims to extend technical programs to underprivileged communities to foster skilled individuals and contribute to local economic growth.

The initiative aligns with the “Bagong Pilipinas” governance brand, focused on implementing a comprehensive plan for economic and social transformation towards a highly developed country.

Meanwhile, the budget for the Davao Region is pending updates, contingent on the number of programs initiated and sustained by regional agencies.

In the previous year, Tesda collaborated with Microsoft Philippines to bridge the digital divide and create employment opportunities for over 1.2 million technical-vocational education and training (TVET) Filipino students. 

The program equips students with tools and curriculum to upskill and obtain certifications in cybersecurity, data and artificial intelligence, productivity, and digital literacy.

Currently, the jurisdiction hosts 14 training centers with thousands of enrolled individuals across various programs. Banto emphasized the importance of digitalization in today's era, where the internet plays a pivotal role in building a progressive and advanced society.

“We are in the age of digitalization, the internet. For us to really cope with the requirements of the labor market, we should equip ourselves with the digitization requirements,” he added. 

In 2023, the country's global digital competitiveness index dropped three spots, according to the World Competitiveness Center of the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD), positioning the Philippines at the bottom of its Southeast Asian peers. 

With a score of 48.31 in IMD's 2023 World Digital Competitiveness Ranking, the Philippines fell to 59th place out of 64 economies, marking its lowest ranking since the index's inception in 2017. 

In the Asia-Pacific region, it ranked 13th, slightly ahead of Mongolia, scoring among the lowest. 

The index evaluates a nation's adoption and exploration of new digital technologies to transform corporate practices, governmental procedures, and society as a whole. DEF

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