Lingayen, Pangasinan – Pangasinan province led by Governor Amado I. Espino, III hosted the launching of “Tsuper Iskolar”, a scholarship program intended for jeepney drivers and other stakeholders under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
Leading the project launching on April 4 at the Sison Auditorium, here, were Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade, and TESDA Director General Isidro Lapena, along with other officials of the two cooperating agencies.
“This program, launched under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, complements the drivers and operators by expanding their livelihood opportunities,” DOTr Sec. Tugade said.
Meeting some 900 Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) drivers who have been identified as among the initial beneficiaries of the said scholarship program, Tugade said Pangasinan is an ideal place to launch an educational program intended to promote the general welfare of the transport sector.
TESDA Chief Lapena said: “Stakeholders from the transportation sector, especially the PUV drivers are now assured of the needed assistance from TESDA in the form of free-of-charge skills training as the DOTr implements the PUVMP.
The “Tsuper Iskolar” seeks to provide skills training and social assistance for those stakeholders who may be affected under the PUVMP.
Meanwhile, Governor Espino hailed the said project as a channel to promote “socio-economic empowerment” among PUV drivers and operators, and their families.
“With the support from the national government, this is now a chance for you to help your families. Make the most of this opportunity,” said Governor Espino as he expressed gratitude to DOTr and TESDA for launching the “Tsuper Iskolar” in Pangasinan.
The project launching was executed, following the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement on Stakeholder Support Mechanism Component under the PUVMP, which was held December 11 last year.
Under the said MOA, a Php350 million budget will be transferred by the DOTr to TESDA, to be used for the skills trainings, and skills assessment including the development of training regulations and curricula for the transportation sector.
The implementing guidelines of the scholarship program was approved on February 28.
About 900 jeepney drivers from the six districts of Pangasinan were identified by the Office of the Transport Cooperatives as recipients of this PUVMP scholarship program.
For a maximum period of 35 days, a scholar is entitled to received a Php350 daily allowance to cover food and transportation expenses. /Mark Gerry Naval Oblanca
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