The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in Western Visayas has been reaching out to over 400 former rebels and supporters in various barangays that have been cleared from the influence of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army, through its training programs.
“As soon as they are considered as cleared barangays, we provided training intervention on the part of Tesda for their livelihood,” Tesda 6 director Jerry Tizon said in an interview, adding that while on training, they are being given an allowance.
Tesda launched on March 28 the Heavy Equipment Operator NC II, particularly on a bulldozer, in Barangay Banago, Bacolod City. The recipients include former rebels and uniformed personnel.
Tizon said they decided to start with the training on bulldozer as they intend to open up an access road in Negros Occidental.
“Once the road will be in place, it will be easier for other programs from other agencies of the ELCAC or Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict to penetrate the area,” he said.
He said that once it is completed, they will introduce other training programs, such as organic farming and fertilizer, and livelihood and construction-related programs so they can build their own houses.
In Antique, 25 scholars from Barangay Bulan-Bulan, San Remigio are enrolled in skills training on steel fabrication, while in Barangay Cabladan, Sibalom, some 24 scholars have already graduated from the electrical house wiring installation while 28 are enrolled in abaca knotting and skills training.
In Capiz, Tesda has produced 125 graduates, 75 in Organic Agriculture National Competency (NC) II and 50 for Carpentry NC II in barangays Carataya and Mahunodhunod in the town of Cuartero.
Former rebels from Barangay Putian are also in charge of the maintenance and protection of 50 hectares of bamboo plantations established in the barangay only this year.
The project is still on its off-grounding stage, meaning there is a construction of initially identified infrastructure while the skills training is ongoing.
In Iloilo, Tesda has enrolled 100 beneficiaries for certification in Organic Agriculture NC II and Grains Production NC II in Barangay Dorog, Leon town.
Of the recipients, 25 have graduated and another 25 have passed the NC II assessment in organic agriculture and considered certified.
Around 25 recipients from Barangay Ingore in La Paz district are enrolled in Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC II.
“That is the directive of Secretary Isidro Lapeña of Tesda for the whole-of-nation approach and not just for one training intervention. We want the totality of assistance that they can avail from us. So it’s not just one time but what is important is that their community will be developed and become self-sustaining,” Tizon said.*PNA