December 30, 2018

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General, Secretary Isidro S. Lapeña, called on the 158 Naga (Cebu) landslide survivors to make their dreams come true by applying the knowledge and skills they have learned from their technical vocational (tech-voc) training.

Lapeña also led the distribution of tool kits for the landslide survivors in Barangay Tinaan, Naga City, Cebu who were affected by the landslide tragedy last Sept. 20 in which at least 78 persons were buried alive.

Of the graduates, 41 finished tile setting composed of 25 men and 16 women; 41 in carpentry, six of them women; hydraulic excavation, 51; and bulldozer operation, 25. The special short-term courses were conducted at the St. Peregrine’s Institute in Carcar City, Cebu.

With Lapeña were other special guests who witnessed the graduation rites at the Naga City Hall last Dec. 21 including Naga Mayor Kristine Vanesa Chiong, TESDA Regional Director Toni June A. Tamayo and TESDA Provincial Directors Francisca R. Opog (Cebu), Cariza A. Dacuma (Bohol), Floro T. Rinca (Negros) and Dina V. Esmas (Siquijor).

Happiness, excitement and hope were evident in the faces of the graduates as they received their National Certificates (NC) as they are confident that the training they received would help them recover from the tragedy they had experienced.

The graduates are also looking forward to the jobs that had been promised them after graduation to help re-establish their lives and the lives of the other 444 families who were affected by the landslide.

“Looking at all these graduates today, I see hope and I see courage. 158 graduates of 4 different skills training programs is not much. But when you think about the economic benefits it will bring to families and the community, it is definitely a step in the right direction,” said Lapeña in his message to the graduates.

The TESDA chief added: “You have the power to make your dreams come true. Kayo din yun. Tulungan n’yo ang sarili ninyo. Determination ang kailangan para magkaroon ng mabuting buhay."

Meanwhile, during a meeting with Secretary Lapeña and other TESDA officials, Mayor Chiong said that the graduates will soon be deployed in Metro Manila for a construction project under one of TESDA's industry partners.

The mayor also said that the same graduates, upon their return to the province, will work on the construction of the Cordova Bridge, connecting the cities of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu, which is a two-and-a-half-year project slated to start in May 2019.

Mayor Chiong also said that the city government will shoulder the medical examination cost and transportation of the landslide victims who want to work in Metro Manila.

Earlier on the same day, Lapeña led the groundbreaking ceremony for the TESDA Vll Innovation Center in Cebu City.

Worth some P40 million, the project is the first innovation center in the Visayas and will rise on an 800 square meter land donated to TESDA by the Cebu Provincial Government.

Once fully operational, the center will address the increasing number of tech-voc enrollees of TESDA Region VII as well as provide support to TESDA training centers by implementing related training programs to enhance existing course offerings.