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Manila Bulletin News » Education, Government, People » Know your candidate: JOEL VILLANUEVA

Know your candidate: JOEL VILLANUEVA

Emmanuel Joel Villanueva

Emmanuel Joel Villanueva

Who would have thought that a son of Bro. Eddie Villanueva, head of the evangelical group Jesus Is Lord (JIL), is not only serious in spreading the good teachings of the bible, but is very serious to help Filipinos, especially the youth, not only in their flock but the youth nationwide?

And Joel Villanueva is so eager that his work in TESDA is not yet finish, he is just starting to lend a hand to all Filipinos to give and create jobs and his dream that no Filipino will be denied of education.

Emmanuel Joel Villanueva is Bro. Eddie’s second child, born on August 2, 1975 in their hometown in Bocaue, Bulacan.  As a child, Joel and his siblings were few of the many Filipinos that were given a good education.  Joel completed his studies at the University of Sto Tomas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics.

Joel Villanueva demonstrating at TESDA

Joel Villanueva demonstrating at TESDA

Joel never stopped learning.  He thought that school is cool and getting a degree or broadening his knowledge will never stop him from learning more things and hoping that with his studies, it can be of help to many Filipinos.

He went to Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts for his graduate study in Business Administration in 1998 and got his doctorate degree at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in 2014 as Doctor of Humanities, Honoris Causa.

In between his studies, Joel helped his father to spread the teachings of their group Jesus Is Lord and was one of the primary key persons why the evangelical group went global.  The Villanuevas believed that, there is nothing bad with preaching the good news.  And if the good news spread throughout starting in our homes, there will be no more evil to reign in our families and to fellow believers of the bible.

But Joel just can’t stop thinking of the youth that needs education.  In 2001, he tried to run for congress and was successful and at 26, became the youngest member of the House of Representatives as the representative of the partylist Citizen’s Battle Against Corruption or CIBAC.  He became a three-term congressman and that’s how successful this young man wanted to be.

He was one of the principal sponsors of the Republic Act 9485 or the Anti Red-Tape Law of 2007.  Joel believes that without corruption, the Philippines can compete with the most successful countries and a force in the economic race in Asia.

After his term in congress, Joel was appointed by President Benigno Aquino III as the Director General of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority or TESDA and became the institution’s chief from 2010 to 2015.

Joel Villanueva after filing his candidacy for senator

Joel Villanueva after filing his candidacy for senator

The first thing that Joel did as chief of TESDA was to investigate the P2.4 billion sponsorship of scholars and left the agency with a very huge debt. He believed that there have been too many anomalies and it was so impossible that this huge amount was given to the scholars.  As a result of conducting an audit, he discovered ‘ghost schools’ and ‘ghost scholars’ of TESDA that were ‘given the gift of education’ by the former TESDA chief and the actual debt was only P880 million

Joel was saddened by his discovery and couldn’t think why many scholars where forbidden to enjoy having and need to pay more for an education.  And he wanted to prove Pres. Aquino that under his leadership, he will bring back TESDA to its old prestige and to spread awareness that all of the agency’s courses offered are all low-paying.

He really wanted to make a difference and lead TESDA to be a hopefully no-debt government agency and encourage more high school graduates who can’t attend college but willing to learn more and create or find them jobs for local and international employers.

During  his term as TESDA chief, the agency was granted an ISO certifications along with all of its 17 regional offices and 81 provincial offices including their office at the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the first and maybe the only government agency that was given ISO certification in Mindanao.

A very devoted husband to wife Gladys and a doting father to Jaden and Gwyn, Joel never forgets that it is his family that gives him the strength to help others and they are his conscience that never will he be one of the corrupt politicians that sees being in the government is purely business.  His business in the government is purely to help and serve the Filipinos.


On October, 2015, Joel resigned from TESDA and launched his campaign for his senatorial bid for the May, 2016 election.  He believes that his role of helping Filipinos to have an education is not yet done and if becoming a senator will help him reach out for every Filipino youth for an education, then, his mission is just about to start.

Joel ‘TesdAman’ Villanueva will run as a senatorial candidate under the Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid.

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9 Responses to "Know your candidate: JOEL VILLANUEVA"

  1. Silver Caballes says:

    I believe in his sincerity, He is a man of God, and He will not betray the Pilipino people.Big Yes for Joel Villanueva

  2. dino tobias says:

    Very informative. Thank you for letting me know him better. He deserves my vote. I will encourage my family, relatives to read your article regarding this candidate. Thank you.

  3. Siya si “TESDAMAN “EMMANUEL JOEL J.VILLANUEVA ang kailangan ng ating bayan!!!
    Hwag po nating kalimutan TESDAman Joel ‘Villanueva …’FOR SÉNATOR …

  4. Ito ang Senator Ko,JOEL TESDAMAN VILLANUEVA. Na magbibigay ng marami pang trabaho sa mga PILIPINO at sa buong bansa. Kaya ituloy ang pagbabago. MABUHAY PO KAYO SIR TESDAMAN!!!
    Ibuto natin sya… #49 JOEL C VILLANUEVA… FOR SENATOR!!!

  5. Pinky D Sarroza says:

    #Joel Villanueva(IVOTETESDAMAN)

  6. zion villela says:

    I believe in his mission. He knows what he’s doing.

  7. Lou Fernandez says:

    MARAMING SALAMAT sa panulat mo patungkol kay JOEL VILLANUEVA at MAYROON palang DAHILAN upang MANIWALA na MAYROON palang TOTOONG nanunungkulan HINDI lang dahil sa posisyon KUNDI dahil sa NAIS MAGLINGKOD SA TAONG BAYAN… at dahil sa KAALAMAN na ISINULAT MO, si JOEL TESDAMAN VILLANUEVA ang SENADOR ko, at lalong SIGURADO, #49 SA BALOTA ko…!!!

  8. Chi Pfeifle says:

    #PHVote will be with you every step of the way – arming you with the information you need to choose your candidates.

  9. lani reyes says:

    Siya ang aking ibobotong Senador,dahil unang una meron siyang takot sa,Diyos at merong pagmamahal sa bayan.At naniniwala ako na sa kanyang kakayahan, ay aangat ang bayan sapagkat marami na siyang natulungan na mag karoon ng trabaho sa pamamagitan ng TESDA..Hangad namin ang tunay na pag babagosa pamamagitan niya…

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