U.S. Government Launches New Project for Out-of-School Youth in the Philippines

DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones, NEDA Director General Isidro Lapeñ,a and U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim join more than 500 participants from across the Philippines for the launch of USAID's Opportunity 2.0 project.
DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones, NEDA Director General Isidro Lapeñ,a and U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim join more than 500 participants from across the Philippines for the launch of USAID’s Opportunity 2.0 project.

Manila, August 19, 2020 — The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), launched a new project that will support the education, employment, and livelihood needs of at least 180,000 out-of-school youth across the Philippines.

Through the five-year, Php1.9 billion ($37.5 million) Opportunity 2.0: Second-chance Opportunities for Out-of-school Youth project, the U.S. government will partner with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to augment their ongoing programs to provide relevant education, employability skills, and work experience.  These include the DepEd’s enhanced Alternative Learning System and TESDA’s skills training programs.

The program launch featured U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones, and TESDA Director-General Isidro Lapeña.  Over 500 participants from across the country joined the virtual event.

Ambassador Kim highlighted continuing U.S. government support for Philippine education, especially for the vulnerable out-of-school youth who are facing significant challenges in education and employment during the COVID-19 pandemic.  “Through this new partnership, we can leverage a range of resources to maximize the potential of the Filipino youth, particularly those who are out-of-school or unemployed.  With the right knowledge, attitudes, and skills, they will play a pivotal role in this great country’s growth and success over the long-term,” Ambassador Kim said.

USAID will partner with local governments in 12 cities across the country to set up Youth Development Alliances that mobilize resources to help their out-of-school youth.  The program will also partner with over 2,200 employers and at least 50 education or training institutions,  including major hubs like Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Davao.  The program is implemented by U.S.-based Education Development Center, with partners Accenture, Philippine Business for Education, Catholic Relief Services, Voluntary Services Overseas, and SEAMEO-Innotech.