LEGAZPI CITY, March 20 (PNA) —- A tie-up by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Technical Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) has given livelihood opportunities to 70 villagers in Sorsogon City and four municipalities in Sorsogon province.
Raymond P. Escalante, information officer of DOLE-Bicol, said Monday a total of P651,315.76 worth of livelihood kits have been awarded early this month by DOLE-Bicol to 70 graduates of TESDA’s Special Training for Employment Program (STEP).
He said Marilyn L. Luzuriaga, DOLE Sorsogon provincial head, had reported that the beneficiaries composed of 9 dressmakers, 17 tune-up engine technicians, 9 construction painters, 17 cosmetologists and 18 tile setters came from various barangays in Sorsogon City and the municipalities of Castilla, Magallanes, Barcelona and Prieto Diaz.
“The villagers from Sorsogon were the first batch of STEP beneficiaries ever awarded with livelihood kits in the entire Bicol Region,” said Atty. Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla, DOLE-Bicol director.
STEP’s training program, which consists of short-term modules, addresses specific skills needs of the communities through enterpreneurial, self-employment and service-oriented activities that will promote employment.
Initiated in 2014, STEP is in line with the thrust of TESDA to expand the reach of its technical, vocational, education and training (or TVET) programs to the grassroots and “increase the employability and productivity” of beneficiaries.
Jose V. Serrano Jr., TESDA-Sorsogon provincial director, said he is thankful to DOLE for being its allied partner in providing livelihood support to STEP’s beneficiaries.
Trayvilla said the partnership with TESDA is a “real tool” in efforts to “lessen if not stop unemployment” in the Bicol region.
She said after STEP, the common problem of graduates is how to “start up.”
“Some of the graduates seek employment but most graduates want to test their skills and venture into small businesses but their financial resources are often minimal so they cannot afford to buy the necessary tools and equipment,” she said.
Trayvilla said combined with the STEP of TESDA, DOLE Bicol’s livelihood program can attain its real goal to generate sustainable alternative sources of income. (PNA) LAP/GVR/CBD