House Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro, during the deliberations on the budget of the Technical Educational Skills Development Authority (TESDA), flagged the spending of a portion of its budget on the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
The teacher-solon was referring to the TESDA’s spending on training for urban community agricultural projects in six cities in Metro Manila, with 510 graduates out of 533 trainees.
“Pwede bang ipaliwanag … paano ba napili itong mga barangay na ito? Ang ibig bang sabihin, na itong mga barangay na ito ay mayroon ditong mga surrenderees, o mayroon ditong mga insurgency?” Castro asked.
(Can you explain why these particular barangays were chosen for this project? Does it mean that there are surrenderees in these barangays, or there are insurgencies happening here?)
Makati Rep. Luis Campos, the principal sponsor for TESDA’s 2023 proposed budget, said that he could not give a definite answer as to why these barangays were chosen.
“Gusto ko lang pong sabihin na at this point, anything I would say pertaining to the choice nung recipients would be speculation. Dahil ito naman po’y noong panahon na iyon, ang TESDA po ang chair ng livelihood cluster, and current director-general has since resigned the position,” Campos said.
(I just want to say that at this point, anything I would say pertaining to the choice of the recipients would be speculation. Because at that time, TESDA was the chair of [NTF-ELCAC’s] livelihood cluster, and the current director-general has since resigned that position.)
“Ang pagpili po ay hindi ko matutugunan conclusively at this point,” Campos added.
(I couldn’t respond conclusively about the choices they made.)
Castro remarked that P2.6 million was spent on this project, but the agency cannot ascertain who the recipients or scholars are.
“Nakakatawa yung mga pagpipili ng mga barangay ng tungkol dun sa project ng NTF-ELCAC … Ang ginastos po dito ay malaki, P2.6 million … Pero di natin tinitiyak yung mga programa, di natin tinitiyak yung mga scholars,” Castro said.
(It’s funny how they chose the barangays on the NTF-ELCAC’s project … The project spent a lot, P2.6 million … But we were not able to check the program, we are not able to check who the scholars were.)
Campos said in response to Castro’s remarks that it was the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency that picked the beneficiaries, and TESDA only provided the training.
“Tumanggap lang po ng listahan noong kapanahunang iyon ang TESDA … Purely training component lang ang pino-provide ng TESDA during that time period,” Campos said.
(The TESDA only accepted the list. The TESDA only provided a purely training component at the time.)
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates. The views expressed are his own.
Watch more videos on Yahoo: