The expansive sports complex in Mandaue City was teeming with activities as part of the pre-Labor Day celebration of the Department of Labor and Employment.
But what caught President Benigno Aquino III’s attention as he walked around was not the usual display of merchandise, but highly mechanical booth of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), which features a mock-up mechatronics conveyor system.
“When President Aquino stopped by our booth, he was curious about what we were doing,” Jed Amistad, the designer and builder of the equipment, said.
With the chief executive as his audience, the 30-year-old Amistad said he demonstrated how the machine works and what it does.
“The President was amazed at the prototype,” said Amistad, who was accompanied by two trainees during the demonstration – Syron Spink Colongon and Luelvyn Teves.
Amistad is an Electronics and Communications Engineering graduate from the University of San Carlos Technological Center. He currently works at the Metrologyx Training and Assessment Center, which was invited by TESDA to take part during the pre-Labor Day exhibit at the Mandaue sports complex.
TESDA Director General Irene Isaac pitched the idea of showcasing Mechatronics in the exhibit through the works of the graduates.
“Aside from the traditional courses it offers, TESDA is veering towards programs for higher levels of technology such as Mechatronics,” she said.
“We should be inspiring the next generation of engineers, scientists, inventors who will innovate and build things towards a better future,” Isaac added.
The TESDA chief also said that there is a high demand for Mechatronics graduates in the country and abroad, such as in the automotive industry.
Mechatronics is a blend of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer control and information technology. It is a design process to create more functional and adaptable products.
The word was first coined in Japan in the 1960s to refer to the synergistic blend of mechanics and electronics. But over the years mechatronics has come to mean a methodology for designing products that exhibit fast, precise performance. These characteristics can be achieved by considering not only the mechanical design, but also the use of servo controls, sensors, and electronics.
TESDA, in consultation with the industry, has developed a Training Regulation on Mechatronic Servicing NC II.
In Cebu province, four technical vocational institutions are offering Mechatronics NC II, namely, Center of Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE), Mary our Help Technical Institute for Women (Cebu) Inc., Mechatronics Technologies Corporation, and Metrologyx Training and Assessment Center.
From 2011 to 2015, TESDA, through its Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP), produced a total of 575 graduates, out of which 362 were employed.
Some of the graduates of Mechatronics are now working as technicians, instrumentation supervisor or operators in various companies at the Mactan Economic Zone, Cebu. (e.g. Pentax, TMX, Lexmark R&D), and other companies such as Samsung Engineering PC KSA, Cebu Mitsumi, Tsuneishi, Daitoh Precision. END