More farmers will now get the chance to be trained by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) as it recently started implementing the Rice Extension Services Program (RESP), an official said.
“We have the Rice Tariffication Law wherein we improve the tariff on rice that we import. We expect to collect PHP10 billion from that. Out of the PHP10 billion, PHP700 million would go to TESDA annually, for six years,” TESDA NCR director Conrado Bares told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Every year, the PHP700 million would benefit some 60,000 farmers, who will be trained by TESDA.
“We have already started this program this October. The training, actually, would be dependent on the availability of schools, as well as the trainors offering the related courses,” he said.
Such courses include machinery operation and dry milling, among others, he added.
Bares clarified that while TESDA have trained farmers in the past, the difference now is there would be specific fund allotted for them. Farmers would also get PHP160 daily training allowance.
“Yes, they should have an allowance. They’re busy in the farms. It would be hard to disturb them and get their time for the training,” he said.
The official said the beneficiaries of this program are those who were already listed as qualified trainees under the RCEF (Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund).
“The PHP700 million will be used to run the program nationwide. I think there are more beneficiaries in regions with vast agricultural lands,” Bares said.
He added that the government would study if the program can be continued after 6 years. (PNA)