TESDA eyes limits on training fees
THE Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is studying whether to impose price limits on training fees for domestic workers, a labor official said.
TESDA executive director Maria Susan dela Rama said the agency recognized that there was a “problem” of training centers imposing excessive fees for Filipino domestic
workers who want to work abroad.
“Bakit kasi yung mga recruitment agencies hindi sila maging mabait? Kahit sila ay licensed, kung makakakita sila ng malaki, hindi sila naawa sa mga tao,” dela Rama told Hong Kong News.
“Ewan ko ba. May mga ganung taong wala talagang puso,” she added.
With government cracking down on illegal placement fees, some scheming recruitment agencies have secretly put up training centers where they charge excessive training fees.
“Sila din yun. Actually meron kami sa procedures na wala dapat conflict of interest with the agencies…(pero) pwede naman nilang itago. Pilipino yata talaga,” dela Rama said.
Consul General Bernardita Catalla earlier complained to dela Rama that some workers were being made to pay up to P50,000 for their training before they are deployed abroad.
Currently, TESDA does not regulate the training fees and allows agencies to set their own prices. That could change soon.
Dela Rama said TESDA had asked the Tariff Commission to find out up to how much training centers can charge domestic workers.
“May 249 na courses (ang TESDA) at isa lang yung (for) domestic worker dun. Ang hirap. Di ka pwede magregulate ng isa lang. May ongoing study kami na dinedetermine magkano yung training fee dapat ng lahat ng courses. Hinihintay namin yun,” dela Rama said.
“Mahirap naman kasi magset ng wala kang basis. Meron na kaming inputs— kung magkano ba dapat yung gastos sa ganito o dito,” she said.
“Meron na kami basis sa amin pero syempre iba kapag external body. Mas may authority sila (the Tariff Commission) to say na ganito dapat ang pricing ng government,” she added.
Dela Rama said that TESDA could prioritize setting a cap on training fees for domestic workers.
“Pag nagset kami ng fees, across the board. Magseset din kami sa iba. Pero pwede naman unahin muna namin ito kasi nga may problema,” she said.
Dela Rama admitted that it was difficult to go against the recruitment industry, noting that it was able to have previous TESDA officials fired.
“Ang hirap kasi ng industriya na yan. Makakalaban mo yung mga recruitment agencies. Alam mo, ang dami ng napahamak sa amin niyan,” dela Rama said.
“Yung isa naming director general, nung hinihigpitan niya yung nasa amin pa yung mga Japayuki–yung mga artists na nagpunta sa Japan—anong ginawa sa kanya? Pinatalsik siya,” she added.
In the meantime, dela Rama said the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to crack down on abusive recruitment agencies.
She said TESDA was already monitoring training centers to see if they are following existing regulations.
“May compliance audit kami. Napasara na yung iba (dahil) yung facilities nila kulang-kulang. Sira yung washing machine. Mga ganun,” dela Rama said.
“Yung iba naman voluntarily nagcloclose kasi wala ng trainees na dumarating. Ito pa nga yung matitino…kasi hindi sa kanila dinadala (ang mga trainees) ng recruitment (agencies),” she added.