Displaced Itogon miners continue to get skills training from TESDA
Small-scale miners, who were forced to stop their mining activities following a massive landslide in Itogon, Benguet’s mining area during the 2018 onslaught of Typhoon Ompong, continue to receive skills training as government scholars, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in the Cordillera Administrative Region (TESDA-CAR) said on Monday.
TESDA-CAR officer-in-charge Engr. Manuel Wong said skills training and scholarships were offered to give miners other livelihood options after the calamity struck on September 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 a PHP3-million fund for the scholarship which was used to finance the materials needed by the students and a provision for PHP160 a day training allowance.
Wong said there were 279 who availed of the scholarship, 268 of them graduated and got their certification.
“We provided them allowance to at least help them get through day by day during their training," Wong said.
The skills offered by TESDA to the displaced miners were Shield Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) National Certificate (NC) l, Masonry NC ll, Carpentry NC ll, Enterprise Information Management (EIM) NC ll, 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 with their newly learned skills," Wong said.
He said they continue to support and give priority to Itogon residents to avail of the scholarship programs as the government’s continuing support to the victims.