Convergence of gov’t agencies brings short and long term aid to Itogon residents

ITOGON, Benguet, Nov. 6 (PIA) -- Over a thousand residents of this town took advantage of the livelihood forum, jobs fair, “diskwento caravan”, rolling store and “TienDA” during the Itogon Economic forum organized by the Cordillera Regional Development Council’s (RDC) Economic Sector Committee on October 24 here.


Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Cordillera Regional Director Myrna Pablo said the event was an offshoot of an order of President Rodrigo Duterte relayed by Political adviser Francis Tolentino for agencies to consolidate their efforts to help the victims of typhoon “Ompong” in Itogon recover back to normalcy.

Diskwento Caravan  offers five to  ten percent on basic goods 

 The DTI brought the “Diskwento Caravan” at the venue where basic commodities were sold at a discounted price from five to ten percent.

 Department of Agriculture also provided selling areas for different agricultural products

The National Food Authority, on the other hand, sold a total of 100 sacks of rice at P27 a kilo to the residents.

 Benguet Provincial Manager Cecilia Concubierta urged residents in the barangays of Itogon to submit proposals for the possible opening of NFA stores so that they can have access to government-rice supply which are sold at lower prices.

 In the job fair conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Cordillera, a total of 3,970 job vacancies were offered by 12 local companies and three overseas manpower agencies.

Patrick Rillorta, DOLE-CAR information officer, said a total of 437 registered for the job fair. There were 375 applicants interviewed on the same day with 339   qualifying - 181 for local employment and 158 for overseas jobs.  Of these, 54 were hired on the spot- 26 of them for local employment and 28 for overseas jobs.

Itogon residents are invited to  become  Social Security System members   for their own  protection and benefit  and that of their families .

 For the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), its  first batch  of trainees composed of 25 participants each  for  the shielded metal arc welding, electrical installation and maintenance, carpentry and  masonry  and  customer service which has six  started on the same day as the Economic Forum.

Benguet provincial director Engr. David Bungallon said the department has allotted PHP2.5 million fund for skills training scholarships to help the victims and displaced families in Itogon.

The second batch will start on November 26. Except for the customer service, all the skills training are held at the Itogon Training Center in Barangay Tuding.

“When they graduate, we are hoping that the housing agencies can tap them in building the relocation houses,” he said. He, however, said that upon completion and obtaining of a national certification, the TESDA will refer them to partners and companies for employment.

The TESDA was able to register around 2,000 individuals who expressed interest to acquire additional skills training from the time they operated in Itogon after typhoon “Ompong”.

Other agencies who   offered their services include the Philippine Export Zone Authority that was looking for 20 persons for its locator companies, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration    that continued to receive families of overseas Filipino workers for the agency’s assistance, and the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples   who talked about their scholarship programs.  

Also present were the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Social Security System, Employment Compensation Commission, Occupational Safety and Health Center and the Philippine Information Agency.

Pablo said that during the event, they asked everyone to fill up form, to allow the agencies to get an honest to goodness information to help them to come up with a program for long term assistance.

 “This is happening because of the government agencies helping each other. What happened to us is a challenge for us to be united in helping each other as brother Cordillerans,” RDC chairman and Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan said. 

He urged residents that after they are employed, they use their money wisely and stay away from vices that will drain the family’s resources.  

The  municipality of Itogon was the hardesst  hit  area  in the  Cordillera Region by typhoon Ompong in September with more than 80  dead mostly from lanslides in barangay Ucab.  (JDP/MAWC – PIA CAR)






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