SANTO TOMAS, Davao del Norte (February 17, 2020)—A total of 319 scholars graduated from various training courses offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Davao del Norte in partnership with the municipal government of Santo Tomas under the #BagongSantoTomas initiative of Mayor Ernesto Evangelista.
The mass graduation ceremony was held on Monday, February 17 at the Municipal Covered Court in Fd. Rd. #3, Santo Tomas, Davao del Norte.
In his speech, Mayor Ernesto Evangelista has lauded the perseverance of the scholars for completing the trainings and receiving their training certificates on their graduation day.
“We at the LGU is very proud of your achievement today because all of you satisfactorily completed the TESDA trainings. This translates to 319 people who have acquired relevant skills for better employment opportunities, here or abroad,” Evangelista said.
Evangelista expressed hope that the graduate-beneficiaries would be able to ensure livelihood for themselves and their families.
“Upon completion of their trainings, it is expected that this would increase the chances of our scholars to find a job or establish a livelihood after training. This is the goal of the #BagongSantoTomas which is to capacitate our people for employment,” he said.
More trainings for 2020
The local chief executive vowed that to bring more TESDA trainings for 2020 as he also pushes to prioritize those in the less fortunate or less privileged sectors of society.
“We want this program to be more inclusive and to allow our people find gainful employment and consequently raise their standards of living,” Evangelista said.
Evangelista has also ordered the Local Economic and Investments Promotion Officer (LEIPO) to ensure that the training programs will be expanded based on the needs of those in the communities.
“Empowering our people will advance our communities especially when they are empowered to earn and create a living based on their own skills and abilities,” he said.
Establishment of a training center
To provide more trainings, Evangelista has announced that TESDA is poised to establish a training center in Santo Tomas this year to support the increasing job opportunities locally.
Evangelista said that he envisioned that such training center would provide free competency assessment and certification services to tech-voc graduates.
“Of course, it is on this aspect that we recognize the support given by TESDA and our industry partners for effectively carrying our programs for our people. We are looking forward to a continued partnership with them in the future,” Evangelista said.
He also lauded the support extended by Davao del Norte 2nd District Congressman Alan Dujali, TESDA Provincial Director Arlyn Bandong, 1003rd Brigade Commander Col. Nolasco Mempin, 89th IB Commander LTC. Silas Transmontero, including the industry partners that are instrumental to the successful implementation of the program.
Meanwhile, the first graduates of TESDA scholars has adopted “Makatao” as its batch name as one of the resilient traits of a Tomasino. At the same time, recognizing the support extended by the Army’s 89th Infantry “Makatao” Battalion to the livelihood and peace and order programs of the Municipal Government of Santo Tomas.
The naming of a certain batch is the first of its kind in the history of Santo Tomas, according to Municipal Administrator Atty. Elisa Evangelista-Lapina.
“It is a unique practice for each batch to adopt a unique name that describes their class. ‘Makatao’ is but a remarkable and a fitting symbolic name that best represent their batch,” Lapina said.
In explaining further the Makatao name, Lapina said the description captures a common core of Filipino values which puts premium on working for the common good “for the people.”
Most of the graduates underwent training for the various training programs namely: Cookery NC II-49, Bread and Pastry NC II-25, Bread Making COC- 25, Cake Making COC-25, Heavy Equipment Forklift Operations NC II-25, Raise Organic Small Ruminants and Raise Organic Hogs -50,
Welding NC I-55, Automotive-15, Plumbing-25, and Electrical-25, respectively.
The graduates of the program will have an opportunity to start their own businesses with the bakery starter kits that were provided by the industry partners.