During the pandemic, India continued to expand training through e-ITEC courses such as Entrepreneurship for Small Business – Trainers/Promoters (ESB-TP) in March 2021.

The Indian Embassy in Manila hosted its annual Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Day Reception on March 29, which was attended by around 100 ITEC alumni from the Philippines, as well as organizations key partners of the Philippine government.

Secretary Isidro Lapeña, Director General of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) was the guest of honor. Renato Ebarle, Under Secretary for Employment and General Administration, Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and Commodore Donn Anthony Miraflor (PN), Deputy Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for education, training and doctrine (J8) addressed the picking.

Since independence, India’s foreign policy has been guided by solidarity with other developing countries, based on common economic and development priorities. With this in mind, a comprehensive program – ITEC – was launched in 1964 to provide technical and economic assistance to other developing countries.

Since then, ITEC has reached over 200,000 participants from 160 partner countries. A cornerstone of the ITEC program are the short and long term training courses conducted at various centers of excellence in India. Each year, professionals from developing countries attend about 300 different courses in more than 80 leading institutions in India.

In addition, ITEC offers the exchange of good practices and the sharing of experiences through projects, advice, feasibility studies, deputation of Indian experts to partner countries, study tours and relief in disaster. ITEC is demand-driven and relies on innovative technology cooperation in line with partner country priorities.

Capacity building cooperation is an important part of the development-oriented partnership between India and the Philippines. The Philippines is an important ITEC partner in the Indo-Pacific. So far, more than 1,100 Filipino nationals have participated in a series of training programs in India.

Ministries and other public institutions in the Philippines are free to choose their personnel and courses that suit their development needs. The program is fully funded by the Government of India.

In the civil sector, Philippine government officials have participated in training courses in a wide range of disciplines such as IT, rural development, parliamentary practices, entrepreneurship, renewable energy, health, engineering marine and aeronautical, etc.

During the pandemic, India has continued to expand training through e-ITEC courses. Since April 2020, more than 120 Filipino nationals have participated in e-ITEC courses. In February 2022, a three-week course “Leadership Management and Good Governance Practices for Sustainable Development for Philippine Government Officials” was specially organized in consultation with TESDA, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Budget and Management from the Philippines. Thirty-three government officials benefited from this course organized by the Indian Institute of Public Administration.

Other popular e-ITEC courses in the Philippines were the course on Digital Documentation of Cultural Heritage attended by 10 participants, the course on Disaster Management – Floods and Droughts attended by 13 participants, and the course on Environmental Assessment. environmental impact followed by seven participants.

Defense training covers areas such as security and strategic studies, defense management, logistics and management, etc. Over the past few years, the number of defense slots offered by India to the Philippines has steadily increased. In the coming year, the Philippines was offered over 50 slots, the most slots in Southeast Asia. Today, defense personnel from India and the Philippines participate in flagship defense training programs in each other’s countries. Recently, a Philippine Army officer joined the prestigious 47-week course in National Security and Strategic Studies at the National Defense College in New Delhi, India.

The growing India-Philippines partnership in capacity building reflects the common desire to harness the greatest asset our two democracies have in abundance: human resources. It also demonstrates growing confidence in India’s competence as a provider of technical know-how, expertise and training opportunities.