MANILA - Senatorial candidate Joel Villanueva on Monday denied using the funds of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for his campaign posters.

Villanueva, who previously headed TESDA and who has adopted the nickname "TESDA Man" for his campaign, said the agency does not even have money to promote its own programs.

"I think TESDA owes me sa pagpo-promote ng ating ahensiya eh, kasi wala tayong, katulad dati, big deal na may endorsers ang TESDA, gumagamit ng pondo ang TESDA. Anong nangyari sa TESDA? Napunta, nasadlak tayo sa madaming kaso. Wala po ni singkong duling na ginastos ang ating ahensiya sa TESDA, kasi po Ma'am, we've learned out lessons," Villanueva told ANC.

JOB CREATION

Part of his advocacy is to push for a higher budget for technical-vocational courses, as well as amend the current Dual Training System, which partners with companies to train and employ TESDA students.

"There is a law already, pero I think po kulang yung promotion. There’s some tweaking that you need to do. For example po, yung sa mga kumpanya, medyo nahihirapan po silang mag-avail nito," he said. (There is a law already, but I think it lacks promotion. There's some tweaking that you need to do. For example, some companies find it hard to avail of this kind of training.)

Villanueva also said he will prioritize income tax reform and investments in renewable energy. He also espouses the idea that Filipinos are the best-skilled workers and that the government has to work to provide Filipinos more job opportunities in the country.

He also said he will support bills on job creation if he is elected senator.

He said an economic charter change is timely because it can lure foreign direct investments. On ownership, he said, “we have to make sure na maraming businesses dito.”

Villanueva said that with businesses pulling out of China, the Philippines needs to court them by amending the Constitution that bars foreign majority ownership of a business in the Philippines.

He also supports an anti-dynasty bill and a freedom of information bill.