About 100 Daanbantayan residents received Technical Education and Skills Development Authority certificates for the Skills Training and Emergency Employment towards Recovery in Northern Cebu on March 21 at Barangay Pajo.
The STEER-Cebu seminar/training was for areas affected by super-typhoon Yolanda. The project is a partnership of the United Nations Development Program, TESDA, the Department of Labor and Employment, the Province of Cebu and local government units.
The graduates, the first batch in the area, received tool kits consisting of a shovel, try-square, plumb bob, hammer, hand saw and hack saw.
At the graduation ceremonies were TESDA Director General Emmanuel Joel Villanueva, Gov. Hilario P. Davide III, Vice Gov. Agnes A. Magpale, UNDP Senior Coordinator Jose Abraham Ongkiko, DOLE 7 Provincial Director Ma. Grace Diaz, TESDA 7 Regional Director Rosanna A. Urdaneta, TESDA Cebu Provincial Director Buenafe Sta. Rita, TESDA Project Training Center Administrator Wilkie E. Reroma, Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto Corro, Vice-Mayor Gilbert Arabis, Sangguniang-Bayan members, barangay officials and local residents.
Villanueva said that he only saw in Cebu the kind of teamwork of community leaders delivering assistance to those who need it. He added that more projects are on their way with the additional P1 billion budget that President Benigno Aquino Jr. approved. The president also doubled the Training for Work Scholarship Program.
The TESDA Director General also emphasized that his organization is now aggressively pushing for the improvement of the lives of the Filipinos by going to communities to teach and train.
Asked about the graduates’ role in getting out of poverty and earning a living for a brighter future, Villanueva had this to say: “The answer is now in your hands.”
He even gamely posed with the excited graduates after the ceremonies.
In his speech, Gov. Davide admitted to having been inspired by the resilience of the TESDA graduates, saying that STEER is “really a labor of love.”
STEER graduate Earl Vincent Benatiro summed up his experience in three words: “A million thanks.” Adding that “the tool kits are a great help to towards recovery and normalcy.”
Vice Mayor Arabis, in his closing remarks, said, “Our people could never be forever dependent on the aid and assistance of the government,” and that the “STEER program is a great help for us to rise again from the devastation of super-typhoon Yolanda.” Rodz Serna