CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY --- At least 3,000 indigenous peoples in Northern Mindanao will benefit from the special training program of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Dubbed “Empowering Indigenous Peoples and Cultural Communities Through TVET and Reintegration Training for Rebel Returnees,” this special training program aims to provide skills development interventions and access to training to IPs and rebel returnees to transform them into competitive and productive individuals.
The program was launched by TESDA and local government officials at the Mindanaw Tribal School in Barangay Panadtalan, Maramag town, Bukidnon province, June 1.
Ceremonial Turnover. TESDA-10 Regional Director Tarhata Mapandi leads the ceremonial turnover of scolarship grants to identified IP-beneficiaries from Bukidnon during the launching of the Special Skills Training Program for IPs and Rebel Returnees at Mindanaw Tribal School, Brgy. Panadtalan, Maramag, Bukidnon. (APB/PIA-10)
TESDA Deputy Director General Alvin Feliciano said the skills training is given by the government to uplift the economic status of IPs and facilitate the reintegration of rebel returnees to the mainstream of the society.
“Kailangang sila madevelop at paunlarin dahil sila ay kabalikat at kaparte ng pamahalaan,” he further said.
Under the program, beneficiaries will be entitled to free skills training, free assessment, entrepreneurship training, training support fund of P100 per training day attended, and toolkits.
A ceremonial turnover of scholarship grants and unveiling of the special training court and skills training center highlighted the regional launching.
DDG Feliciano said a special training court with dormitory will be put up in the Mindanaw Tribal School to house trainees. “Tatawagin itong training cum production kung saan kukuha ang TESDA ng mga membro ng IP community at tuturuan sila ng construction,” he added.
TESDA and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) recently forged a memorandum of agreement to empower IPs for self or wage employment through skills training.
Engr. Chona Labaon, provincial director of NCIP Bukidnon, says this is the first time that a livelihood program for IPs has been given emphasis since the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA) became a law. She said some IPs already have skills but need to be enhanced so they would become competitive.
Meanwhile, Bukidnon 3rdDistrict Representative Manuel Zubiri vowed support to the program saying it will give livelihood opportunities for IPs in his province.
Bukidnon is a home to seven tribes. These are the Higaonon, Bukidnon, Talaandig, Manobo, Matigsalug, Tigwahanonand Umayamnon.
According to the Regional Operations Division of TESDA-X, some 500 slots amounting to P6 million is allocated for Bukidnon under the program. TVET qualifications identified for the province include bread making, dressmaking, wielding, farming, carpentry, electrical installation and maintenance, and motorcycle servicing, among others. (APB/PIA-10)