Friday, 6 July 2012
Mayor lauds LaPIMa initiative on skills training
By ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ
“ANG laking blessing po niyan … malaking bagay po iyan …”
This was how Jose Panganiban Mayor Ricarte Padilla summed up an offer from LaPIMa to help his government push the technical and vocational training program for the many less-privileged youth of the municipality.
LaPIMa stands for “Laking PIM Ako”, which is an association of families and enterprises such as contractors, service providers, suppliers and many more who benefited from the defunct mining company Philippine Iron Mines (PIM) that operated until mid-1970s at Baranggay Larap, Jose Panganiban, CamNorte.
“Dininig po ng Panginoon ang panalangin ko even without saying a word to Him,” he told MWBuzz, referring to the assistance being offered by the association.
“Malaking blessings po ‘yan sa maraming mahihirap na mga kabataan ng Mambulao…”
Ricarte also expressed his thanks to a recent LaPIMa donation of welding equipment and accessories and other technical tools to boost the LGU’s skills training program carried out at the Gov Roy Padilla Sr Memorial Technical School.
Based in Larap, the technical school is a Tesda-oriented program that seeks to provide free skills training to many marginalized youth in the community. Tesda stands for Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
Padilla said that he set up the training school in Larap to cater to the many youths in the area and nearby baranggays, who are children of fisher folks with almost no chance to get skills training anywhere.
Having learned of this, the LaPIMa recently decided to channel some of its funds for its educational program to the training institute, aware that it could benefit many youths in Larap, barangays Pag-Asa and Sta Milagrosa.
LaPIMa also sponsors a number scholars for Tesda training at a cost of P12,000 per student for a three-month technical and vocational course at Tesda in Labo, Camarines Norte.
While the tuition fee costs P6,000, the other half of the expense involves transportation fare, board and lodging, pocket money and other miscellaneous.
Likewise, LaPIMa is planning to endorse a number LaPIMa youth-beneficiaries to the JP technical school as one way to reduce the cost of its skills training program.
And part of the savings it will generate from LaPIMa beneficiaries enrolled with the technical school who could have otherwise enrolled at Tesda-Labo would be used to buy training gears and materials for use at the institute.
Ricarte told MWBuzz that the technical school is accredited by Tesda to carry out such a skills training program, being a community-based entity.
At present, the institute has one instructor for each of the four courses offered such as welding, baking, electrical and dressmaking and a staff to run the school.
The LGU expects to spend close to P1 million a year to operate the institute.
Padilla said the first batch of 160 trainees who graduated in welding jobs, baking, dressmaking and electrical works took their skills validation examination recently at Tesda-Labo.
The test was required to determine the trainees’ proficiency to handle a job in a real workplace situation.
Ricarte said that those who passed the Tesda validation exams for trade skills have been referred to prospective employers in Metro Manila while those who trained in baking are trying to get placement in the Middle East.
He said that students from the eastern baranggays of Mambulao namely Osmena, Bagong-bayan, Poblacion, Sta Rosa are picked up by the municipal vehicle every day after school hours because they (the students) “have no money for transport fare in going home”.
He recalled that of the first batch of 280 trainees last year, more than 50% dropped out for lack of transport money.
“So we only managed to graduate 106,” Padilla said.
“This time, we would like to avoid that … we will pick them up and bring them home after school.”