Residents of NPA-cleared villages in Escalante learn new skills
By Nanette Guadalquiver / Philippine News Agency
BACOLOD CITY – A total of 99 residents of four insurgency-cleared villages in Escalante City, Negros Occidental will undergo various skills training courses under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
The participants from Barangays Mabini, Libertad, Pinapugasan, and Paitan belong to the marginalized or vulnerable sectors of their communities.
As of Tuesday, the schedule of the training sessions was still being finalized as the beneficiaries were still processing their documents after the project was launched in rites held in Barangay Mabini on September 24.
In a statement, Romelia Nuezca, acting provincial director of TESDA-Negros Occidental, said they have lined up four skills training courses for the identified beneficiaries.
These are Organic Agriculture Production National Certification (NC) II, Carpentry NC II, and Service Underchassis Components (Leading to Automotive Servicing) NC II, all with 25 trainees each, as well as Masonry NC II, with 24 participants.
The training will be provided for free under the Training for Work Scholarship Program for participants of Organic Agriculture Production NC II, Carpentry NC II, and Masonry NC II, and through the Special Training for Employment Program for trainees of Service Underchassis Components NCII.
TESDA 6 (Western Visayas) Director Jerry Tizon urged the beneficiaries to embrace the opportunity given to them by the government through the training as he enjoined partner agencies to work together for the greater good.
“The next generations deserve a peaceful and progressive nation built by multi-skilled Filipinos,” he added.
The training programs are being implemented by TESDA as the lead agency of the Poverty Reduction Livelihood and Employment Cluster of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
The four villages are among the 14 barangays in Escalante City cleared of the influence of the Community Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army and are included in the Local Government Support Fund - Support to Barangay Development Program (LGSF-SBDP) under the NTF-ELCAC.
The BDP, which grants PHP20-million assistance to each insurgency-cleared village, is a hallmark program of the NTF-ELCAC with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-prone communities.
This year, the NTF-ELCAC has identified 822 barangays nationwide that were former guerilla fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army - National Democratic Front.
Of the PHP19 billion total budget of the NTF-ELCAC, PHP16 billion is allotted for the development of 822 barangays cleared of insurgency and is downloaded straight to the local government units from the Department of Budget and Management. (PNA)