House panel approves bill on tech-voc programs for former drug abusers 


A CONSOLIDATED bill mandating the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to provide programs for reformed drug users that will help them find employment was approved in a House committee on Thursday. 

House Bill (HB) 153 by Agusan Del Sur Reps. Alfel M. Bascug and Eddibong G. Plaza and HB 1992 by Abang Lingkod Party-list Rep. Joseph Stephen S. Paduano were consolidated and approved in a meeting of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education. 

The bills aim to institutionalize training and programs under TESDA dedicated to sustainable rehabilitation of former drug abusers. 

“TESDA is one among other relevant agencies of our government in facilitating the reintegration of drug dependents back to their respective families and communities,” an explanatory note of the bill said. 

“We support the bills,” Technical Vocational Schools and Associations of the Philippines lawyer Remelisa Alfelor-Moraleda said at the meeting. “We would be able to help in the rehabilitation of (drug addicts).”

The committee also approved a bill which prescribes the use of neo-ethic Philippine textiles in the academic regalia of state universities and colleges, and another measure that establishes a college of medicine at the Visayas State University (VSU). 

A return service provision is recommended to be included in the VSU bill, Baguio Rep. Mark O. Go, chair of the committee, said. — Kyanna Angela Bulan