“He uplifts the dignity of Filipinos by ensuring that dignified jobs are accessible to the Filipino people through education, training, upskilling, and reskilling.”
SENATOR JOEL VILLANUEVA’S BRAND as TESDAMAN stemmed from his days as head of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), during which he helped provide employment and livelihood opportunities to millions of Filipinos.
During his stint as the agency’s director-general from 2010-2016, he helped make TESDA an inspiring and empowering organization. Under his stewardship, TESDA received its nationwide ISO 9001:2008 Certification, which made possible the quality training of 10 million Filipinos.
In the 2016 senatorial race, 18,459,222 Filipinos joined him on a mission to enact pieces of legislation to create decent jobs for Filipinos. He was elected Chairman of two important Committees in the Senate: the Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development and the Committee on Higher, Technical, and Vocational Education.
In just five years, Senator Villanueva submitted more than 500 bills and resolutions. At least 82 of the bills he authored passed into Republic Acts, not counting the numerous proposals that the Senate carried.
Among the significant laws he authored during the 17th Congress are the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Law (Republic Act No. 11058), the Telecommuting or WorkFrom-Home Law (RA 11165), the Philippine Qualifications Framework Law (RA 10968), and the Tulong-Trabaho Law (RA 11230).
He continues to rally for jobs in the 18th Congress through the passage of his pet legislations such as the First-Time Jobseekers Assistance Act (RA 11261), the Distribution of 100% Service Charge to Rank-And-File Employees of Restaurants, Hotels, and Similar Establishments (RA 11360), and the recent Doktor para sa Bayan Law (RA 11509).
Senator Villanueva is also the main driving force behind the proposed Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos, which seeks to synchronize government programs for OFWs and Filipinos living abroad, among other objectives.
He works consistently for jobs, especially for those displaced from work during the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
He was instrumental in raising the allocation for the TUPAD Program meant to provide financial assistance to workers displaced by the pandemic from P6 billion to P19 billion. He also fought for the funding of the Tulong Trabaho Scholarship Program for new normal jobs skills training.
He also nudged the different government agencies involved in the National Employment Recovery Strategy to create a scorecard for meeting the minimum target of creating two million jobs and assisting 1.4 million workers. With his solid track record, Senator Joel Villanueva wholeheartedly faces the challenge to continue TESDAMAN’s mission in the Senate in 2022 and beyond.
In filing his Certificate of Candidacy last October 6, he said that Filipinos in need of jobs are in his thoughts every day and that they are the reason for his perfect attendance in the Senate.
Before joining the Cabinet, Senator Joel Villanueva was the representative of the Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) Party List in the House of the Representatives during the 12th, 13th, and 14th Congresses.
Senator Villanueva is a graduate of Commerce, Major in Economics, at the University of Santo Tomas. He took up Special Studies in Business Administration at the Harvard University in Massachusetts from 1996 to 1998.
He is also a Certified Barista. He completed an Advanced Food and Beverages Service Course (NC III) at TESDA in 2012. The Polytechnic University of the Philippines gave him an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in 2013.
Former President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III conferred him the “Order of Lakandula” for his remarkable performance as TESDA chief. He was awarded “40 Under 40 International Development Leaders” by the US-based Development Executive Group for his role in shaping development agenda and making significant development impacts.
As an outstanding son of Bulacan who excelled in public service, the provincial government awarded him “Gawad Dangal ng Lipi for Public Service.”
As the son of Bro. Eddie Villanueva, the founder and Spiritual Director of the Jesus Is Lord (JIL) Church Worldwide, Senator Joel Villanueva lives up to his calling of uplifting the dignity of Filipinos.
He uplifts the dignity of Filipinos by ensuring that dignified jobs are accessible to the Filipino people through education, training, upskilling, and reskilling. Moreover, he advocates for the rights, well-being, and interests of the Filipino workers at home and abroad.
The TESDAMAN always says: “Trabaho ang aking laging trabaho, (I always work for jobs creation), at pangarap kong maranasan ng Filipino ang isang tunay na masayang pagbabago (and I hope that the Filipino will experience authentic positive change).”