• Tesda helps typhoon survivors build their houses


    STATE skills training agency Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) will be helping displaced residents in areas affected by super typhoon Yolanda [[international name: Haiyan]to build their houses.

    Tesda director general Joel Villanueva said a total of 2,500 residents of the provinces hit by the typhoon, including Leyte and Samar, will undergo a crash course on basic carpentry and house wiring to equip them with the skills in rebuilding their homes and be able to help in other construction works in their community. The training program, he added, will run from December to March next year.

    Under the initiative dubbed “Pandayan Project,” the trainees can take the competency assessment test after the training and be a certified Tesda graduate.

    “Aside from having the knowledge and skills to build their homes, the graduates can also be employed in the construction projects of the local government units, the National Housing Authority and Department of Public Works and Highways. They can also be self-employed,” Villanueva said.

    The training will be for 15 days covering short sessions on the theories and principles of carpentry, basic electrical repairs, and will include hands-on application supervised by competent trainers. It will also adopt the community-based approach to allow families and neighbors to do the construction of structures through the “bayanihan system” of helping each other to finish the work. Each batch of training will have at least 20 participants.

    The trainees will be provided with tool kits and some materials they would need for the duration of the course.

    “After enduring the calamity, we must rebuild,” Villanueva said, stressing that the typhoon survivors themselves are doing the task of restoring their communities so that government intervention will not be seen as dole-out.

    According to Tesda Region VIII director Cleta Omega, training has started for 300 beneficiaries in 15 sites in Region VIII (Eastern Visayas)—six sites in Tacloban City, four sites in Palo, Leyte, four sites in Eastern Samar and one site in Basey, Samar.

    In Bantayan, Cebu, the agency has also an on-going training on construction cum production with 200 beneficiaries.

    The Pandayan Project is part of the convergence program of national government agencies to rebuild the provinces ravaged by typhoon Yolanda.

    On December 11, Villanueva went to the provinces of Leyte and Samar to personally oversee the ongoing training and meet with local officials. He will be in the city until December 13.

    At Barangay San Joaquin in Palo town, the Tesda chief will lead the lighting and distribution of solar night lights produced by trainees and volunteers using green technology. The production and distribution of solar night lights is also among Tesda’s projects for the typhoon-hit areas, some of which remain without electricity as repair works continue.

    Villanueva will then proceed to Barangay Abucay in Tacloban to visit the bunkhouses erected by the Public Works department and to the training site in Barangay 62B and in Catadman in Basey, Samar. He will also oversee the skills training happening at Lawaan, Balangiga, Giporlos, Quinapondan, all in Eastern Samar. NEIL ALCOBER


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