TESDA – Cordillera Regional Director Manuel Wong with Baguio – Benguet Provincial Director David Bungallon, along with the Forest House Assessment and Training Center Inc. (FHATCI) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan for the undertaking.
In line with TESDA’s technical – vocational education and training slogan, “Skills ang Puhunan Ko”, the special skills training program aims to help the people of Itogon to have another means of livelihood with small scale mining activities still banned in the Cordillera region, Wong said.
The training program covers technical – vocational trades of Carpentry NC II (24 training days), Masonry NC II (33 days), and Shielded Metal Arc Welding NCI (37 days), and Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC II (28 days) at the Itogon Municipal Training Center.
In partnership with Baguio – based FHATCI, is a 3 - day training on Basic Customer Service. The first batch of 65 trainees from Itogon already finished the course.
Under the TESDA – FHATCI Basic Customer Service training partnership, there are also industry partners such as Tiongsan Supermarket that will prioritize the hiring of the trainees.
Bungallon disclosed that TESDA will allocate around P2.5 million for the program which cover for free skills training and assessment for TESDA national certification, provision of tool kits and training allowance to beneficiaries.
With the training program set to benefit an initial batch of 285 individuals, Wong assured that TESDA will continue to give them priorities in TESDA’s scholarship training programs for next year.
Palangdan, in response, expressed the municipality’s gratitude to TESDA for the skills training program that can provide Itogon residents employment and livelihood opportunities pending the approval of Minahang Bayan and the lifting of small scale mining ban in Itogon.
He is encouraging training beneficiaries to do their best since this is an opportunity for them to bounce back from their present situation as they re-establish their productive capacity or revitalize their livelihood.
Itogon is the hardest- hit town by typhoon Ompong with scores of people dead and thousands displaced mostly due to landslides. By Carlito C. Dar (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)