/ 4 February 2021

TOURISM courses appear to be the most preferred by overseas Filipino workers, according to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Based on data from e-TESDA, 23,818 OFWs or their dependents enrolled in courses under the Tourism sector from March 16, 2020 to December 31, 2020 through the TESDA Online Program.

It was followed by the Human Health/Healthcare sector with a total of 12,368 enrollees, and Entrepreneurship with 11,416 enrollees.

The 80 courses available in TOP are divided into sectors which are 21st Century Skills; Agriculture; Automotive; Electrical and Electronics; Entrepreneurship; Heating, Ventilation, and Air Condition; Human Health/Healthcare; Information and Communication Technology; Lifelong Learning Skills; Maritime; Processed Food and Beverages; Social, Community Development and Other Services; Tourism; and TVET.

Some courses have yet to attract more enrollees like the Lifelong Learning Skills, Agriculture, Information and Communication Technology.

TESDA chief Isidro Lapeña said that although courses in the Tourism sector can further enrich the skills of returning OFWs, it will also be to their benefit if they learn some skills under the Agriculture sector.

“It became more difficult to earn this pandemic because many Filipinos have lost their jobs and livelihood especially in the Tourism sector. However, we can also take the courses under the Agriculture sector so we can ensure that more of us will know how to produce our own food for our families and loved ones,” Lapeña said.

Former OFWs can take their agri-related skills to the next level by becoming agripreneurs, he added.

By the end of year 2020, e-TESDA recorded a total of 2,679 enrollees in Fruit Grower course. There were no enrollees in other agriculture courses.

TESDA also offers face-to-face training under the agri-fishery sector.

The agency has strengthened the agriculture sector so that Filipinos can produce their own food.

Last year, TESDA regional and provincial offices were directed to establish their own mini-organic farms.

Since the pandemic started, TESDA has accommodated a total of 1,238,522 TOP registrants.