Tesda training program for Bohol quake victims


THE Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) will conduct a training program on construction-related skills such as carpentry, masonry, electrical installation and plumbing to help Boholanos recover from the strong quake that hit their province.
Tesda director general Joel Villanueva said the state skills training agency, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the local government of Bohol province recently launched the Special Training for Emergency Employment Recovery program or
“STEER Bohol” to help empower earthquake victims in the province

“We just launched this program [STEER Bohol] to help earthquake victims from Bohol rebuild their homes and hopefully help communities get back on their feet,” Villanueva said.

He said the agency has released P4 million funds for this program from its 2013 maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE).

“Initially, at least 40 houses will be built in the 8 municipalities [of Bohol]. Each of the municipalities has 5 houses to be built. We will train them (earthquake victims) to build their own houses,” the Tesda chief added.

Villanueva also noted that the training program will not only equip earthquake victims with the constructions skills, but will boost their morale knowing that they have a role in the rehabilitation efforts, and not merely recipients of government aid.

The agency, he said, will provide tools, supplies and materials to give the victims new skills that they can immediately use in building temporary shelters and building relocation shelters.

“We will provide them (earthquake victims) tool kits and the needed construction materials. This will help their communities start anew. After this, the local government will also tap them for another projects,” Villanueva said.

The training program will start by next week, according to Villanueva.

“We intend to implement or start the program maybe this week or by next week because
the fund is already out,” he said.

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake on October 15 struck the provinces of Bohol, Cebu and Siquijor in Central Visayas. Thousands of buildings and homes were destroyed, roads and bridges blocked, damaged or collapsed, power lines cut and water supplies interrupted.

Official data said an estimated 3.1 million people were affected by the deadly earthquake, while more than 200 people were killed and hundreds were injured. Around 350,000 people have been displaced, of which 80 percent were relocated in makeshift shelters in evacuation centers.

Neil A. Alcober


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