November 5, 2018

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) announced that 720 workers and residents who were affected by the closure of the famous Boracay Island have graduated from free skills training offered by the agency.

This after the “Mass Graduation of TESDA Skills Training for Displaced Workers and Other Beneficiaries Affected by the Temporary Closure of Boracay Island” was held at the Barangay Manoc Manoc Covered Court, Boracay Island last Oct. 26, the same day the popular holiday destination was reopened to the public.

It would be recalled that Boracay Island dubbed the “island paradise” was closed for six months beginning April 26, 2018 after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered to rehabilitate the island resort and clean up the environment.

Duterte had earlier described the island a "cesspool” due to the pollution, overcrowding of tourists, presence of tons of garbage and other environmental issues.

TESDA Deputy Director General for TESD Operations Alvin Feliciano, TESDA Aklan Provincial Director Joel Villagracia and other local officials led the graduation rites in Boracay.

In his speech, Feliciano assured the graduates of assistance if they want to build up their own business after their training through the help of various agencies and financial institutions such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Landbank of the Philippines (LDP), and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

“Ang TESDA po ay hindi lamang nagbibigay ng training, bagkus kayo po ay tutulungan ng aming mga kasama rito sa TESDA para maiugnay sa mga naghahanap ng empleyado o trabaho, o trabahador na bago sa mga negosyo sa isla ng Boracay. Pangalawa, binanggit ko ang negosyo. Bakit? Ang TESDA po ay may pakikipag-ugnayan sa DTI, DSWD, sa DOLE, ‘yan ang mga ahensya na ‘yan ang tumutulong sa pagbibigay ng puhunan sa mga nagsitapos ng skills training sa TESDA. Kaya sa mga gustong magnegosyo pwede po kayong tulungan ni PD Joel na mai-refer para makakuha ng tulong pangkapital (utang) sa DTI, DSWD, dagdag pa rito ang LBP, at DBP para makasiguro na tayong lahat ay umangat dito sa gobyernong ito,” says Feliciano.

The 720 graduates were trained under various qualifications at the TESDA Provincial Training Center-Aklan and 14 other partner technical vocational institutes (TVIs) in the province.

The graduates are composed of Lifeguard Services, 42; Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC ll, 17; SMAW NC l, 113; Housekeeping NC ll, 54; Security Service NC ll, 25; Service Consumer Electronic Products and Systems (leading to Electronics Products Assembly and Servicing NC ll, 66; Driving NC ll, 25; Prepare Hot and Cold Meals (leading to Cookery NC ll), 50; Cake Making, 40; Pastry Making, 33, Bread Making, 30; Perform Manicure and Pedicure, 100; Carpentry/Plaster Concrete/Masonry Surface (leading to Masonry NC ll, 5l; Hilot (Wellness Massage) NC ll and Dressmaking NC ll, 15.

Following the closure, 73,522 residents, 17,326 registered employees and 11,000 unregistered workers were affected and lost their jobs.

Former TESDA Secretary Guiling “Gene” A. Mamondiong then immediately ordered the officials and partners of the agency to come up with action plans and help the affected residents through various scholarship skills programs.

This was primarily to aid the beneficiaries either in looking for temporary work or to establish small businesses during the island closure and beyond.

The skills training sessions were divided into two batches.