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After Yolanda, survivors hurdle skills training courses
by eTESDA PMU - Monday, 10 November 2014, 11:38 AM
They did not only survive the wrath of typhoon Yolanda that hit their communities in northern Cebu, they also hurdled a training program sponsored by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to help them get back on their feet.

Now graduates, they are primed to help rebuild and find a stable source of income for their families.

The 2,600 graduates marched on November 6 and 7 in separate mass graduation rites organized by TESDA for its scholars, who came from among the typhoon survivors.

The graduates of the Skills Training for Livelihood Assistance (STLA) came from 15 municipalities and one city, Bogo City, all in northern Cebu.

During the ceremony, the graduates were given tool kits to help them start with work.

"With training and tools, the typhoon survivors can rebuild on their own or assist in reconstruction efforts and earn from this," TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said.

As their output after completing their training, the graduates were able to construct 9 new houses that will be awarded to select beneficiaries.

Villanueva said that the graduates can also use their National Certificate to seek employment in the country or abroad.

The graduates have undergone competency assessment, and those who passed will receive a National Certificate.

Lito dela Calzada, 45, is a practicing carpenter but did not have formal training. The training with TESDA will finally make him full-fledged carpenter, and at the same time, help him skillfully rebuild their damaged home.

Janet Presbitero, 39, took Masonry and hopes to get a job to help her family. Kristy Kay Mahinay pursued a course in Shielded Metal Arc Welding to assist her mother in fixing her home.

At the height of the relief work for the Yolanda victim, Villanueva was assigned by President Benigno Aquino III to oversee the establishment of a repacking hub at the Cebu International Convention Center.

The TESDA chief saw the spirit of volunteerism there and the desire to help among the people, including those who are themselves victims of the calamity.

This prompted Villanueva to organize the STLA with the help of the TESDA provincial office and partner institutions. The agency tapped 12 accredited training providers for the implementation of the program in northern Cebu.

The training providers offered courses such as Welding, Carpentry, Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Masonry, Electrical Installation and Maintenance and Plumbing. The training outputs of the graduates were houses that would be awarded to deserving beneficiaries. The Cebu provincial government also provided financial counterpart to TESDA for the program. END