SKILLS TRAINING. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority has conducted skills training for the indigenous peoples (IPs) residing in Barangay Poonbato, one of the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster priority villages in Botolan, Zambales. The training program is under the agency’s Special Training for Employment Program which intends to address the specific skills needs of communities and promote employment, through entrepreneurial, self-employment and service-oriented activities. (Photo courtesy of TESDA Region 3)

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has provided skills training to the indigenous peoples (IPs) in Zambales as part of the government’s continuing efforts to reduce poverty and end insurgency.

The training program is under the agency’s Special Training for Employment Program (STEP) which intends to address the specific skills needs of the communities and promote employment, through entrepreneurial, self-employment and service-oriented activities.

TESDA Regional Director Balmyrson Valdez said on Wednesday that 25 IPs residing in Barangay Poonbato, one of the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) priority barangays in Botolan, Zambales underwent skills training program on assembly of solar night light and post lamp.

“Barangay Poonbato is one of the communities identified in our priority areas under EO (Executive Order) 70, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). Our training in TESDA aims not only to give an opportunity to seek employment but also help them possess the skills they can use in their daily living,” Valdez said in an interview.

He said the IPs who underwent training from Oct. 28 to Nov. 11 were also entitled to receive a starter toolkit as part of the program.

“Together with other partners in the government, we want to empower residents in IP communities by providing them livelihood and skills training programs,” Valdez added.

TESDA Zambales Provincial Director Melanie Grace T. Romero said they have already mapped out various conflict-affected priority barangays in the province for necessary training programs and interventions towards sustainable peace and improvement of standards of living.

“Layunin ng programa na mabigyan ng sapat na kaalaman ang mga benepisyaryo tungkol sa training programs na makakatulong upang sila ay magkaroon ng sapat na kasanayan na maaaring magamit sa pagkakaroon ng trabaho at masuportahan ang kanilang mga pangunahing pangangailangan (The program aims to provide know-how to the beneficiaries regarding the training programs to give them enough skills that can be used to get employment and support their basic needs),” Romero said.

Last month, a total of 25 IPs residing in Barangay Maguisguis, another PRLEC priority village in Botolan, Zambales also underwent a similar training program. (PNA)