INTEGRATED energy firm Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC) announced on Monday that it has absorbed 281 vocational graduates from Semirara Island in Antique over the last three years in line with its vision to expand in the area.
The graduates came from Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-accredited Semirara Training Center, Inc. (SCTI), a non-stock, non-profit corporation that aims to provide local residents with marketable trade skills.
During the same period, SMPC said it has spent around P20 million to support the vocational training of SCTI scholars, which covers both their tuition fees and allowances.
“We are committed to providing our host community with high-value employment. We are now able to absorb more locals into our workforce as a result of our expansion operations in the island,” SMPC president and COO Victor Consunji said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).
SMPC’s expansion is in line with the commissioning and commercial operations of new coal plants during the year and the scheduled capacity expansion of cement plants.
From 9 million metric tons (MT) of coal, SMPC increased its production output to 12 million MT in 2016. This year, the company aims to produce 13 to 14 million MT of coal.
Over 3,500 people work in SMPC’s mining operations, of which approximately 17 percent are skilled workers locally sourced from STCI.
Enrolment is open not only to local residents of Semirara Island, but also to residents of nearby islands such as Caluya and Sibay, according to the company.
Tuition and other school fees for technical materials, tools, and projects are waived for students who are Semirara residents and those from nearby islands.
STCI scholars from Mindanao are also provided with accommodation and meals for their entire stay.
SMPC was bought by Consunji-led conglomerate DMCI Holdings Inc. in 1997.