TESDA was created through Republic Act No. 7796 or the TESDA act of 1994 to encourage the industry, trade, labor and local government units to participate in developing programs for the country’s skilled workers.

The TESDA Act embodied state policy of providing relevant, accessible and high quality middle level manpower that is supportive and responsive to the country’s development goals.

Signed into law on August 25, 1994, the TESDA Act integrated under a single Authority the functions of three related government institutions and a government program: 

• National Manpower and Youth Council
• Bureau of Technical Vocational Education of Dep-Ed
• Apprenticeship Program of DOLE 
TESDA-ARMM now has 11 Operating Units:
1. Basilan Provincial Office
2. Basilan Provincial Training Center (PTC)
3. Lanao del Sur Provincial Office
4. Lanao del Sur Provincial/City Manpower Development Center (PCMDC)
5. Maguindanao District 1 Office (Shariff Kabunsuan)
6. Maguindanao District 2 Office (Maguindanao)
7. Sulu Provinicial Office
8. Tawi-Tawi Provincial Office
9. The Regional Manpower Development Center (RMDC)
10.The Language Skills Institute - RMDC
11.The Language Skills Institute - Zamboanga City Liaison Office




The devolution of TESDA to the Autonomous Regional Government was completed on February 18, 1997 through a Memorandum of Agreement signed by and between the ARMM represented by the Regional Governor Nur Misuari and TESDA represented by DOLE Secretary Leonardo Quisumbing in his capacity as Chairman of the TESDA Board together with Director General Jose D. Lacson, TESDA Central Office, Taguig, Metro Manila to implement Executive Order No. 317 dated March 30, 1996.