Survivors of typhoon Yolanda, who have sought refuge in Metro Manila, have started undergoing skills training conducted by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Secretary Joel Villanueva, TESDA director general, said close to 50 individuals are currently enrolled in the first batch of beneficiaries of the free training program of the agency for typhoon survivors temporarily housed at the tent city at the Villamor Elementary School in Pasay City.
Villanueva said the program, dubbed “TESDA sa Komunidad,” also offers lectures on emergency preparedness.
“We see this as relevant and timely assistance to the typhoon survivors following their harrowing experience,” he said.
The skills training program are in beauty care services for women, and small engine repair for banca for men. Health and beauty products retailer Hortaleza Beauty Center and television network UNTV have partnered with TESDA to provide the training.
“The road to their recovery is long, and we begin it with training to enable them to acquire some skills and engage in productive activities to earn income,” Villanueva said.
“By tapping their skills and honing them, we are helping the survivors help themselves and get back on their feet not because of dole outs but because of their own sweat,” he added.
Small engine repair was among the initial program offered because it is among the in-demand skills in the communities ravaged by the typhoon.
Many of the survivors, especially those from Tacloban City in Leyte, came from communities whose main source of living was fishing. The bancas and other fishing vessels swept away by the typhoon needed to be replaced, and knowledge and skills of how to assemble one would be helpful to the survivors once they return to their homes.
Villanueva said they are also providing training in beauty care because it can be a source of quick income for the survivors.
“Once they have completed the training, they will bring home a new set of skills that will help them get back to their normal lives,” he said.
The TESDA initiative does not only provide training but it also taps those who already have the skills and can help the other typhoon survivors learn them. Two of the trainers hired for the program are typhoon survivors themselves.
TESDA vows to continuously assist the survivors while they are in the tent city through skills training. PNA