By Mike Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – The government will continue to fulfill its commitment to support the needs of lumads (natives) in Mindanao, this was bared by Regional Director Florencio F. Sunico, Jr. of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) on Thursday.
As a gesture to its commitment, the government has already started the processing of scholarship slots to the indigenous peoples (IPs) in Northeastern Mindanao or Caraga region.
Some of these scholarships commitment are 100 slots each for Tile Setting NC II, Carpentry NC II, Masonry NC II, EIM NC II, Construction Painting NC II, Perform Manicure/Pedicure, Perform Hair Color/Bleaching, Perform Hair Perming/Straightening, Perform Hair Cutting Services, Service Consumer Electronic Product and System, Bread Making, Perform Gas Engine Tune-up, RAC Servicing, Pastry Making, Cake Making, Prepare and Cook Hot Meals and Prepare and Cook Cold Meals, and 50 slots each for SMAW NC II and Organic Agriculture Production NC II, TESDA 13 Regional Director Sunico told The Manila Bulletin on Thursday.
“They (IP students) are given allowances daily during their scholarship training, aside from other livelihood extended to them,” the region’s TESDA chief said.
This scholarship commitment was already announced by TESDA’s Director General (DG) Secretary, Guiling “Gene” A. Mamondiong, during his visit in Caraga region on April, this year, he said.
A total of 450 scholarship slot commitments were already distributed to some tribes of Agusan del Norte at the launching of skills training program for Indigenous People, Cultural Communities and Rebel Returnees held at Grand Palace Hotel, this city, recently. The commitments were awarded by Sec. Mamondiong together with Partner Agencies’ officials and local government unit leaders.
IPs in different areas from highland communities in Butuan City and Agusan del Norte also received the first batch scholarship training recently, Director Sunico said.
The Manobo (Anticala and Pianing) Tribe in Butuan City has received a total of 150 slots for the first batch of skills trainings on Shielded Metal Arc Welding NC I (50 slots), Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC II (25 slots), Prepare and Cook Hot Meals, leading to Cookery NC II (25 slots), Service Automotive Electrical Components, leading to Automotive Servicing NC II (25 slots) and Perform Gas Engine Tune-up, leading to Automotive Servicing NC II (25 slots).
On the other hand, the Higaonon/Mamanwa/Manobo tribe of Agusan del Norte, has received a total of 300 slots for the first batch of skills trainings on Process Food by Salting, Curing and Smoking leading to Food Processing NC II ( 20 slots), Process Food by Fermentation and Pickling leading to Food Processing NC II ( 20 slots), Process Food by Sugar Concentration leading to Food Processing NC II ( 20 slots), Produce Organic Vegetable leading to Organic Agriculture Production NC II ( 100 slots) and Organic Agricultural Crops Production NC II ( 140 slots), the region TESDA chief said.
To fully support the scholarship trainings of the IPs, TESDA has allocated P10 million for the construction of IP Dormitory within the Agusan del Sur School of Arts and Trades in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, he said.
Another 9, 627 square meters IP Training Court Building is also set to rise in Manlapso, Barangay Magroyong, San Miguel town, Surigao del Sur province,. Director Sunico added.
Meanwhile, at least 3,000 IPs in Northern Mindanao also benefited from the special training program of TESDA, it was also learned yesterday.
Dubbed “Empowering Indigenous Peoples and Cultural Communities Through Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Reintegration Training for Rebel Returnees,” the special training program also aims to provide skills development interventions and access to training to IPs and rebel returnees to transform them into competitive and productive individuals.
TESDA Deputy Director General Alvin Feliciano and local government unit officials launched the program at the Mindanaw Tribal School in Barangay Panadtalan, Maramag, Bukidnon province early this month (June 1).
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.
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 an unveiling of the special training court and skills training center highlighted the regional launching in Panadtalan, Maramag town of that same province, it was further learned.