DIMASALANG, Masbate, March 6 (PNA) –- The top official of the Technical Education and Skills Development (TESDA) in Masbate said 742 TESDA scholars in the third district of the province, who have just completed their assessment and certification tests, had received their free tool kits that would give them gainful employment as middle-level skilled workers.
Mildred Marcaida, TESDA provincial director, said in 2016 the third district composed of the towns of Cataingan, Cawayan, Dimasalang, Esperanza, Palanas, Pio V. Corpuz, Placer and Uson received the biggest share of the TESDA scholarship fund compared to the other districts in the province.
She said this was made possible through the efforts of Masbate Representative Scott Davies Seachon Lanete.
Lanete said the national fund in the other districts in the province allotted Php1.5 million that was able to assist 100 scholars.
He said, however, that in the third district that he represents, the funds reached Php10 million a year that was able to provide for 1,000 scholars.
“I am so happy and proud to say that in the last two years, our funds for the program reached Php10 million per year,” said Lanete.
He said for 2017, the district has allotted a P7-million fund for the program and including the counterpart from TESDA, the total fund for the TESDA scholars would reach Php 10 million.
Recipients of the program came from TESDA accredited schools such as Masbate Schools of Fisheries and Technology in Milagros town; Cataingan Polytechnic Institute, Inc. in Cataingan town; Atty. Manuel B. Abinuman Memorial Colleges Inc. in Cawayan town.
The other accredited schools are Southern Masbate Manpower Development Center, Masbate Polyechnic Development Center, Masbate Sirak Pangkabuhayan Training Center, Southern Bicol College in Mabini St. and Masbate Central Technical Institute (MCTI) in F. Magalanes--all in Masbate City.
Marcaida said the recipients of the tool kits took courses like electrical installation and maintenance NC II, prepare and cook hot meals cookery NC II, prepare and bake pastry products, prepare and cook cold meals cookery NC II, shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) NC I and Hilot wellness massage NC II.
She said it has not been easy looking for funds for their program so they can procure all of the kits so she is grateful Lanete gave his trust to TESDA.
“The tool kits were procured by the TESDA central office in Manila and I am praying these kits will soon be utilized by each graduate,” she said.
Marcaida said she hopes the recipients will value the toolkits and not resort to selling their kits to others.
She said the tool kits included sewing machines, electric ovens, electrical tools, welding machines, plumbing tools, multi testers and massage kits.
“What TESDA is trying is to do is to let anybody learn many skills. If a driver is trained on plumbing, welding and electrical installing then he has extra skills that would give him income should there be no work opportunities as a driver,” said Marcaida.
She said the real wealth of a person is in his skills.
“I hope I can visit two or three of the TESDA graduates and see if their skills and tool kits are being properly used as a source of livelihood,” she said.
Marcaida said Lanete has been the biggest “investor” on technical, vocational and educational trainings in the province and hoped for his continued support to the program.
Lanete said his office will work jointly with the Department of Labor and Employement, various local government units and other government offices so the graduates can avail of jobs related to their courses.
He told the graduates not to waste the time and opportunity provided by the TESDA scholarship and toolkit program.
Dimasalang Mayor Edgar Delara of the host municipality acknowledged Lanete’s support for the TESDA program.
He also asked Marcaida to prioritize Dimasalang when trainings in the areas of automotive, refrigeration and air-condition are opened.
Delara said he wants to prioritize skills training for his constituents especially since he himself was a second class refrigeration and air-condition mechanist when NC II was formerly called Trade Testing.
“I myself was a trade testing officer of TESDA before,” he told beneficiaries of the toolkit distribution program.
Mayor Ian Sepulveda of Esperanza town, Mayor Allan Lepasana of Pio V Corpus town, Mayor Salvadora Sanchez of Uson town, former vice mayor Alfonso Son, Jr. of Palanas town and former Masbate Governor Rizalina S. Lanete were also present during the toolkit distribution to give support to the trainees from their towns.
Lepasana and Sepulveda encouraged the middle-level skilled workers to undergo further trainings from TESDA to meet the competency standards as certified workers.
“This will also ensure better productivity, higher quality and global competitiveness of the workers in their fields of work,” they said.
Delara said he anticipates that in the next awarding and distribution of TESDA toolkits the municipality of Dimasalang will again be the venue.
He said by that time the town plaza will already have a roof, work for which may be possibly handled by the TESDA graduates. (PNA) LAP/GVR/NBT/CBD/EDS