THOUSANDS of farmers and agricultural workers will be given free skills training for possible employment amid the worsening El Niño phenomenon that continues to plague farmlands, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) said on Thursday.
Tesda Director General Irene Isaac said agricultural workers will be offered training on carpentry, masonry and construction-related courses to help equip them with alternative skills to provide for other means of income.
For 2015 and 2016, the agency initially allotted more than P18 million funding for the training expenses of P1,850 agricultural workers from 22 provinces hit by El Niño.
The Tesda had implemented intervention programs for El Niño from the last quarter of 2015 to June this year.
This month, a group of farm workers from Sarangani province completed their masonry course and are now ready for employment.
“Our farmers will need all the help they can get in the El Niño months and training them to acquire new skills is one way of intervention that Tesda can do,” Isaac said.
The training program for the El Niño affected areas is part of the agency’s commitment to support the government’s initiatives to mitigate the adverse impact of the weather phenomenon, which includes damage to crops, severe pest infestation, which would lead to the loss of livelihood of our farmers, Isaac said.
“We can’t just let our farmers bear the brunt of the weather phenomenon and do nothing. This training will tap their potentials to learn new things, excel in them and make it a source of income,” Isaac added.