Senate bill seeks to institutionalize Tesda’s programs for rehabilitated drug users

(INQUIRER) MANILA, Philippines — Senator Jinggoy Estrada has filed Senate Bill No. 2276, seeking to mandate the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda to design and implement technical-vocational education and training (TVET) programs for rehabilitated drug dependents.

Estrada, who is also the chairperson of the Senate committee on labor, employment, and human resources development, said in a statement on Thursday that many drug dependents in the Philippines are willing to undergo treatment and rehabilitation.

He added that it is “important to sustain the support they provide and expand its scope including skills training and productivity enhancement” for future employment.

This, according to Estrada, may be done through the collaboration of Tesda and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) — the very same agencies that will be tasked to sustain TVET and livelihood programs on equipping individuals with “competitive” and “employable” skills.

SBN 2276 also states that DOLE shall incentivize companies to employ rehabilitated drug dependents.

“Providing incentives to establishments that will employ rehabilitated drug dependents who are graduates of TVET programs specifically designed for them will provide reformed drug users a holistic support system for their reintegration to society,” said Estrada.

The House of Representatives approved on third reading of its counterpart bill, House Bill No. 7721, in May 2023.