Calinog, Iloilo – Members of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) here covered by the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) availed skills training offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Dubbed Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP), it is an entitlement for the affected families ensured through strong partnership with TESDA and with the fervent support of TESDA 6 Regional Director Toni June Tamayo. One member of each Project Affected Family (PAF) can avail of this training to equip them with necessary skills that will qualify them for work during project construction. Courses offered include Masonry, Carpentry, Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW NC I) and Heavy Equipment Operation.
“The courses you will avail will not only prepare you for employment during JRMP II construction but it will prepare you for bigger opportunities after Jalaur. Ayaw naming na hanggang laborers lang kayo” said JRMP II Concurrent Project Manager Engr. Gerardo P. Corsiga. He further stressed that the training is just the start of the NIA’s commitments to the affected IPs. After the training completion, NIA will assist the beneficiaries in availing assessments for them to earn a National Certificate (NC). An NC is a major requirement in many construction firms here and abroad for hiring of skilled personnel.
On October 21, 2015 the first batch of IPs beneficiaries started training for Shielded Metal Arc Welding National Certificate I (SMAW NC I )at the West Visayas State University (WVSU)-Calinog campus. The training will run for 21 days and was offered to both male and female beneficiaries.
Jose Jimmy P. Amoma, Training Instructor from RTC-U Talisay Mobile Training Program (MTP) encouraged the participants to complete the training and work hard to pass the assessment. He further stressed that SMAW is not just exclusive for men because female welders are also in demand abroad. Such reason inspired Shaye Jan Cabayao of Brgy. Toyungan to avail of the training. She is one of six female IP beneficiaries who enrolled in SMAW for Batch 1.
“Gusto ko guid tana mag-obra pagkatapos ka daya nga training para mabuligan akon pamilya (I really want to work in Manila after this training and help my family),” said Cabayao who is the eldest of two siblings. Whenever asked if she can handle the rigid SMAW training her response would be “Wara takon nahadlok sa init kag sparks. Nagdako takon nga permi nakita akon Tiyo nga ga handle sang welding machine. Tapuson ko guid daya. (I’m not afraid of heat and of the sparks. I grew up seeing my Uncle doing welding works. I will complete this training).”
For Elder Allan Casiple of Barangay Garangan, he said that they are thankful to TESDA and NIA for the skills training that they availed. “Ginahambalan namon ang mga kabataan nga tapuson guid ang training kay dako guid ni nga oportunidad para kananda. Ipakita guid dapat nanda sa gobyerno nga seryoso kita sa sini nga paghanas nga gintao kanaton (We encourage the beneficiaries to finish the training because this is a big opportunity for them. We need to show the government that we are serious with this opportunity they gave us),”Casiple further said.
JRMP II is Iloilo’s biggest irrigation project and a priority of the Aquino Administration in Western Visayas. Branded as “Partner in Progress”, the project is a much-deserved and much-needed development for every Ilonggo family. /JP(Ramon C. Salvilla, CDA-II)