Issue of May 5, 2019

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Itogon miners continue to get skills training from TESDA
by Krystelle Luken Pangpangdeo

Small-scale miners who were forced to stop their mining activities following a massive landslide in Itogon, Benguet during the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong in 2018 continue to receive skills training as government scholars, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in the Cordillera said.

Tesda-Cordilera Officer-in-Charge Manuel Wong said skills training and scholarships were offered to give miners other livelihood options after the typhoon struck last Sept. 15, 2018.

“We made sure that Tesda contrived a quick response and that we conducted skills training like masonry, carpentry, and customer relations,” Wong said.

Under Tesda’s Bangon Itogon program, 300 slots for the initial enrollees were opened free of charge.

The scholarship was made available either to the miner or a family member who can use the skills to get employment and bring in income for the family.

Tesda allocated P3 million for the scholarship, which was used to finance the materials needed by the students, including a P160 daily training allowance.

Wong said 279 availed themselves of the scholarship, of which 268 graduated and got their certification.

“We provided them allowance to at least help them get through day by day during their training,” Wong said.

Skills offered by Tesda to the displaced miners were Shield Metal Arc Welding National Certificate (NC) I, Masonry NC II, Carpentry NC II, Enterprise Information Management NC II, and Basic Customer Services.

“Hopefully with their new skills, they would find jobs other than small scale mining. There are also others who were already employed using their newly learned skills,” Wong said.

He said they continue to support and give priority to Itogon residents as the government’s continuing support to the victims.

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