Kuya Alan and Ate Pia join hands with TESDA to boost skills of 158 Davao Muslim communities

This week, 158 Dabawenyos were empowered by the offices of Senators Alan Peter and Pia Cayetano, in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), through the provision of toolkits to boost their newly acquired skills through vocational training.

The first batch received their toolkits on May 30 (Wednesday), with the senators’ team facilitating the handover program in Mati City, Davao Oriental to boost the livelihood of 91 students of TESDA’s Special Training for Employment Program (STEP) who completed the qualifications of Tailoring NC II and Dressmaking NC II.

The beneficiaries, composed of industry workers and Bangsamoro women, had graduated from the Career Centre Academie and Technological Institute, Inc. in 2023, thanks to the scholarship provided by the senator siblings to the STEP 2023 Program.

They all took the STEP track, which is a community-based specialty training program designed to address local skill gaps and encourage employment through small businesses, self-employment, and self-oriented activities.

Editha Umbaligan, one of the graduates who is an organizer for local Muslim women, happily recounted how their community got into the dressmaking qualification.

“Nagsabi ang grupo na sana matulungan ko sila na magkaroon ng sariling pagkakakitaan kaya nag request ako na matulungan kami. Hindi ko inakala na magkakaroon ng katuparan ang aming mga request at nagkaroon ng training,” Umbaligan shared.

With the success of the program and its impact in their community, Umbaligan hopes their group can take up entrepreneurship next to help establish the dressmakers’ business in their community.

She also thanked the Cayetano siblings for their help. “Kulang ang salita para sa pasasalamat. Hindi namin akalain na sa kalayo layo ng lugar namin ay darating ang tulong galing kila Senador Alan at Pia Cayetano. Maraming maraming salamat po!” she said.

The handover event was graced by TESDA Davao Oriental and TESDA 1 Specialist and Representative of the Provincial Director Martina Cruz, School Principal of Career Centre Academie and Technological Institute, Inc. Norma Albano, and School Administrator Mary Jane Trinidad.

The next day, May 31, the second batch composed of 67 students were provided toolkits in Tagum City, Davao del Norte to boost their livelihood after completing their qualifications on Cookery NC II, Bread and Pastry Production NC II, Driving NC II and Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) NC II.

The students graduated from five TESDA accredited institutions, namely Mother Rosario School of Tagum, Inc. (16 graduates), Technical Education School and Assessment  Center of Tagum, Inc. (17 graduates), ⁠Quicktrain Learning Center, Inc. (17 graduates) and ⁠Luwil Institute of Technology Inc. (17 graduates).

In addition to the scholarship provided by the Cayetano siblings, this was made possible by Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy, with Ciara Uy-Salazar representing the mayor in the event, and with the help of TESDA Provincial Director Jasmin J. Neri and Acting City Public Employment Service Office Head Mae-Ann Ang. 

In both events, the senators’ team underscored Senators Alan Peter and Pia’s unwavering support for initiatives that empower marginalized sectors, emphasizing their commitment in strategic partnerships such as with TESDA to empower individuals and uplift communities.


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