On the day of their graduation, 160 students who took up Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Albay expressed gratitude to Senators Alan Peter and Pia Cayetano for helping them successfully complete their training.
The students, who trained at the TESDA-accredited Sunshine International School Foundation in Daraga, said the Cayetanos’ provision of allowance and tool kits encouraged them to do well in their training.
Aira Uy, one of the students who took up dressmaking, said that her newly acquired skills will help boost their family textile business.
“Thank you very much po kila Senador Alan Peter at Pia Cayetano for sponsoring us. I understand po na bukod sa schooling at sa mga gamit, we are able to receive other benefits through your offices,” Uy said when asked for a message for the sibling senators during their graduation day on Tuesday, January 31, 2024.
“Sana patuloy nyo pa po suportahan at tulungan ang iba’t ibang school na nag-offer ng TESDA para sa tulad namin na gusto pa makapag-acquire ng additional skills para magamit sa negosyo,” she added.
A student who trained for electrical installation and maintenance, Ferdinand Maraño, owns and runs a hotel in Albay. He said even at the age of 58, he still learned a lot through the TESDA program.
“It’s a great honor and privilege. I am professional engineer, pero kakaiba y’ung training ng TESDA at marami pa po ako natutunan. Thank you to Senator Alan Peter and Pia Cayetano for sponsoring our scholarship. Malaking tulong po ito especially sa mga nagsisimula, at bilang gabay sa mga kabataan,” Maraño said.
“Ipagpatuloy po sana ninyo ang inyong nasimulan na tulong para sa kabataan dahil malaki po ang ambag ninyo sa development and discovery of their potential. Kahit 58 years old na ako ay natuto pa ako sa electrical installation and maintenance. Nawa ay gabayan kayo ng Panginoon,” he added.
The students took up qualifications under two TESDA programs, namely the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) and Special Training for Employment Program (STEP).
TWSP is a scholarship program that targets to provide skilled workers in priority sectors — both local and overseas — such as in engineering and metals, tourism, construction, and in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry.
Meanwhile, STEP trains the students in skills and opportunities for entrepreneurial, self-employment, and service-oriented activities. It also aims to expand their employability and productivity in local communities.
Under TWSP, 47 students took up Dressmaking (275 hours) and Bread and Pastry Production (141 hours) while 108 students qualified in STEP through Bread and Pastry Production (141 hours), Cookery (316 hours), and Electrical Installation and Maintenance (196 hours).
Throughout their training which ran from October to December 2023, the Cayetanos sponsored their tool kits and provided allowances, in partnership with Legazpi City Councilor JP Lee.
TESDA Albay Provincial Director Glo Macabuhay-Sese, TESDA Albay Representative Ging Atienza, Sunshine International School Director Dr. Ofelia Peralta, School President Dr. Dominador Peralta Jr., and School Administrator Luis Gonzales also said the students flourished in tech-voc.
Before the end of their graduation, the senators’ team provided the graduates with aprons and shirts as gifts for their new vocation.
As champions of technical education, the Cayetanos have supported free TESDA training in various cities and provinces.
During the 2024 budget hearing, Senator Alan had also expressed his “support to the TESDA family” as it works to improve the quality of technical education in the country as well as the mindset of the people about TESDA diplomas.