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TESDA seeks to help more ex-rebels

TO enhance the government's capacity-building programs, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) seeks to provide more training to former rebels.

“We have projects in almost all of the regions. But for now, we will give special focus in Batangas, Bohol and Masbate,” TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña said on Wednesday.

These places, he said, are among the areas with the most concentration of former rebels.

Lapeña noted that the agency considers former rebels as special clients. They are among TESDA's priority beneficiaries, apart from the indigenous people, prisoners and drug surrenderers.

“Now that TESDA is part of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), affected communities can expect a more concerted effort from various government agencies in delivering basic services such as education and training, housing, healthcare, among others,” explained TESDA Deputy Director General Gaspar Gayona.

A series of training programs to 100 former rebels and their dependents will commence in Bohol on March 11, according to Gayona. This will be apart from the regular training programs that the regional office provides.

“The training will be conducted in coordination with three private TVET (technical and vocational education and training) providers and two TESDA provincial training centers,” he added.

Among the qualifications included in this training are Welding, Electrical Installation and Maintenance, Carpentry, Masonry, Bread and Pastry Production, Food Processing and Organic Agriculture.

“Our focus is to provide (the rebel returnees) the training that could automatically provide them with jobs or livelihood,” Gayona said.

TESDA has trained 972 rebel returnees in 2018.

With regard to providing additional scholarship slots specifically for former rebels, Gayona said this will depend on the actual utilization of scholarship funds. (PNA)

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