TESDA launches training in insurgency-cleared village in NegOcc

By Erwin Nicavera / Philippine News Agency

BACOLOD CITY – Some 25 participants in Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City in Negros Occidental attended a community-based training on heavy equipment operation and agri-related courses starting Monday under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The trainees included 15 agrarian reform beneficiaries and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Romelia Nuezca, acting provincial director of TESDA-Negros Occidental, said Barangay Carabalan has been identified as the program recipient based on its status as an insurgency-cleared barangay.

The program is being implemented by the agency as the chair of the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

Carabalan is the lone village in the southern Negros city that received PHP20 million worth of projects under the Barangay Development Program, a hallmark program of the NTF-ELCAC with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-prone communities.

Mario Foldadero, one of the beneficiaries of the Heavy Equipment Operation (Bulldozer) National Certificate (NC) II, welcomed the opportunity to learn a new skill right in their own community.

“I am very happy that there’s training in our barangay. This is a big help. We no longer need to go to other places to avail of the training and obtain NC II certificate from TESDA,” he added.

Residents living in the project sites of Sitios Cabalungan, Florete, and Canagba-an hope to build a passable road through the implementation of the project.

Implemented under the Training for Work Scholarship Program, the TESDA Regional Training Center based in Talisay City is the training provider.

The 542nd Engineer Construction Battalion is providing the heavy equipment being used for the training.

Aside from availing of free training cost and assessment, the trainees are also provided with internet allowance, one-year accident insurance, health and personal protective equipment allowance, and training support fund or allowance of PHP160 per day.

The training program dubbed “Barangayanihan Para sa Kauswagan Sang Barangay Carabalan” is just a start of the interventions for the village, TESDA Western Visayas director Jerry Tizon said.

“The Heavy Equipment Operation (Bulldozer) NC II is the first program we chose for the residents here. We believe that it will be (an) instrument for other government programs to penetrate in this upland and rural area,” he added. (PNA)

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