/ 28 April 2022

THE TECHNICAL Education and Skills Development Authority received a P2.910-billion budget for the implementation of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education this year.

The agency received the same amount in 2020 and 2021. However, this is considerably lower than the P6.9 billion it received in 2018 and P3.910 billion in 2019.

In this year’s budget, only 53,377 learners enrolled under UAQTEA.

In April 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 10931 or the UAQTEA which gives Filipinos the opportunity to avail of free tertiary education in both public and private institutions.

TESDA implements UAQTEA as diploma programs. Training duration for UAQTEA lasts for three years. If completed, a scholar can continue the program into a bachelor’s degree.

This year, Region III has the largest number of UAQTEA scholarship slots with 10,157. It is followed by Caraga and Region XI with 7,660 and 7,498 scholarship slots, respectively.

TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña said scholars under UAQTEA receive benefits such as free tuition and miscellaneous fees, as well as trainee support provisions such as costs for national competency assessment, instructional materials, living allowance, starter toolkit and workshop T-shirts.

Lapeña said that technical vocational education and training is vital, as those who cannot afford a college degree can take up these courses.

“TESDA trainings are very helpful to Filipinos especially to those who cannot afford to go to college. Many employers, local and abroad, require their applicants to be holders of Tesda-issued National Certificate,” he said.

In 2021, TESDA produced 17,910 graduates under the UAQTEA. Some of the courses offered under UAQTEA are Diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Technology, Diploma in Information Technology, Diploma in Nursing Technology, and Diploma in Agricultural Technology, among others.

Those interested to enroll in TESDAUAQTEA courses can visit the nearest Tesda Office in their area.