At the outset following the onslaught of typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas region in 2013, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) had made its presence felt among the ravaged communities not only through relief efforts but rehabilitation by arming the people themselves with training and tools to help them get back on their feet.
Through the Agency’s various livelihood training programs and construction-related trainings, the typhoon survivors found ways to cope with the tragedy.
How effective were these programs and what was the impact of the training on the people?
Government officials from the Office of the Cabinet Secretary visited select areas in Tacloban City, one of the hardest hit by the typhoon, to see for themselves the condition of the typhoon survivors after the training programs, and see what else could be done to help them.
After being battered by typhoon three years ago, life and livelihood began anew for Anonilon Wenceslao with a hammer, pieces of wood and nails.
The materials were part of the toolkit provided by the TESDA to the typhoon victims that it trained to help them build their own homes and those of other victims.
Wenceslao was part of the batch of 20 trainees from Barangay 89 in San Jose, Tacloban City who finished the course on installing framework/ auxiliary lighting leading to Carpentry NC II.
After the training, they received toolkits that they used to build their homes. The men worked using the bayanihan strategy of helping each other provide a temporary shelter and lighting for their families and their neighbors.
Equipped with carpentry skills, the group is now accepting carpentry and electrical lighting works.
“TESDA was in our midst right after the typhoon. Shelter was a crucial need. With the training, we were able to build our homes that kept our families safe,” Wenceslao said.
“There was also an influx of construction demand from neighboring barangays, which gave us a source of income and helped us survive,” he added.
Wenceslao, who spoke for the team, said they hope they could be linked to employment agencies in need of carpenters and electricians for job opportunities.
He said they are also yearning to undergo another training to upgrade their skills for full qualification in Carpentry NC II and Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC II.
TESDA’s provincial office said the group could take part in the job fairs that it sponsors to link them with prospective employers. As for the training, the agency said training slots are open as long as they meet the requirements.
In another area, Barangay 31 in Pampango, Tacloban City, 20 women were provided with livelihood training program byTESDA in partnership with Kimse Yok Mu foundation.
The women are now holders of Dressmaking NC II and have a regular production of rags sold to household, offices, gasoline stations and drivers.
All typhoon victims, the women are thankful to TESDA for giving them the skills that gave them a source of income to meet the need of their families.
Many of them who were dependent on their husbands for money also felt rewarded that they are now making little money for their families.
“There is more work to be done. We need to make their recovery permanent. TESDA, together with other government agencies, will continue to assist these communities,” TESDA Director General Irene Isaac said.
TESDA-Region VIII reported that 18,616 Yolanda survivors graduated from the training programs of the agency since 2013 of which 11,615 have been assessed, 11,166 certified and a total of 17,093 have been employed.END