Former Taliptip residents are looking to graduate very soon from their skills training under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) even as San Miguel Corp. (SMC) vows to open the program to more Bulacan residents in the coming months.
With positive feedback coming from the initial 60 enrollees, SMC president and chief operating (SMC) president Ramon S. Ang said SMC and TESDA have been receiving a lot of inquiries for the succeeding batches.
“We are very pleased with the reports that the initial batch of enrollees who are formerly from Barangay Taliptip are very eager to learn and are doing well in their training. They are industrious and they learn fast. We appreciate their effort in learning new skills during the pandemic as this shows their eagerness and pride to participate in a game-changer of a project that will not only benefit them, but also the generations to come,” Ang said.
TESDA provincial director Jovencio Ferrer Jr. confirmed that the pilot batch is performing well. “I see the ongoing training as effective since the graduates are equipped to become competent in their field of choice and prepared for either wage or self-employment.”
Arvee Vasquez, Erwin Libao and Jojit Teodoro, students in the heavy equipment/hydraulic excavator training course, said the SMC-TESDA program will enable them to eye opportunities at the airport construction project.
SMC’s project, the Manila International Airport (MIA) in Bulakan, is also seen to give birth to new local industries and boost existing businesses, it will require suppliers, maintenance contractors, food providers, accommodations and the like. Adjacent to the MIA, the Bulacan Airport City Economic Zone is expected to attract business locators that will provide employment to local residents and boost local government revenues.
The MIA project is capable of handling up to 100 million passengers per year as it will feature four parallel runways with a provision for two more, a world-class terminal, and supported by a seamless transport system.
For his part, the 25-year-old Libao said he will also value the friendships forged during the training.
Geraldine Cunanan said she learned the rudiments of dressmaking, from the choice of fabrics, measurements, up the actual sewing of garments, which she will apply when she goes into the business.
Twenty-one year old cookery student Mark Ivan Pilapil said he has gained enough culinary knowledge to open his own eatery, hopefully to be situated near the airport construction site.
Eduardo Panganiban also appreciated the welding lessons and hopes to get employed at the airport site.
The TESDA courses include the heavy equipment/hydraulic excavator course, shielded metal arc welding, electrical installation and maintenance, dressmaking, and cookery.
The pilot batch will undergo up to 20 days of training in their chosen courses and three days of entrepreneurship training. Those who will opt for self-employment and set up their own business will be given toolkits like welding machines, sewing machines, and other equipment.
“The toolkits to be given are a good starter component in setting up their respective enterprises and put into practice their hard-earned skills,” Ferrer explained.
Once they complete the training programs, students will undergo the TESDA skills assessment test before National Certificates or NCII are awarded. Graduates of heavy equipment/hydraulic excavator course, electrical installation and maintenance, and shielded metal arc welding courses will be referred to SMC Aerocity, SMC’s company under SMC Infrastructure that handles the airport development.
“We thank TESDA again for helping us in equipping the Bulacan residents with additional and new skills that will come in handy for those who want to work for us, or establish businesses that will cater not only to the airport but also to their respective communities as well. We need to work together to be able to ensure that the benefits of this airport will reach everyone and that it serves as an impetus for the country’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic,” Ang said.
For those who have decided to remain in Bulacan, Ang said that SMC’s assistance does not stop with cash assistance but also with equipping them with skills and opportunities through the partnership with TESDA.
“We have a commitment to the Taliptip residents to make their lives better with this project. That’s why aside from the cash assistance, we have provided them opportunities for skills and livelihood training. We want them to work not only for us, but also with us in making sure that this project delivers on its promise to help the country recover and provide jobs to many Filipinos,” he said.