MANILA — Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director-General Joel Villanueva embarked on a three-province swing across Central Visayas from June 24 to 26 signing partnership deals, playing in basketball exhibition games and handing out scholarship vouchers so the youth can avail of free skills training.
The bulk of the scholarships worth PHP40.5 million were given to 16 northern Cebu municipalities which were affected by typhoon ‘Yolanda’ (international name ‘Haiyan’) last year.
Mayors and constituents concerned accepted the scholarship grants.
“We know the typhoon survivors badly need jobs and money. The free training could provide the key to unlocking opportunities that could go a long way,” Villanueva said.
He urged the residents to use the training to learn skills they could use in rebuilding their communities and starting their own small business.
“From carpentry to welding, commercial cooking and massage therapy, there are a variety of courses that could help the survivors start anew,” he said.
Providing entertainment to people, Villanueva joined the basketball exhibition game organized by TESDA Region VII as part of its social marketing and advocacy program.
“Shoot for you Dream Cebu” pitted Team Specialistas, composed of TESDA graduates and local political personalities, against Team Trabaho composed of former Philippine Basketball Association star players like Alvin Patrimonio, Marlou Aquino, Bal David, Jerry Codinera, Rodney Santos, Bobby Jose and Kenneth Duremdes.
Team Specialistas was backed by businessman Glenn Soco, ex-PBA stalwarts Ramon Fernandez and Bonel Balingit as well as Cebu leaders Samsam Gullas and Bebot Abellanosa and Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama.
While in Cebu, Villanueva also gave an inspirational message to graduates from Department of Manpower Development and Placement, the training arm of Cebu City government.
He likewise signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Cebu Contractors Association for training, assessment and certification programs.
In Siquijor province, Villanueva led distribution of training certificates to TESDA graduates and visited Lazi Technical Institute, a school supervised by TESDA.
He also met with local officials of the province.
In Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental province, Villanueva awarded PHP1 million worth of scholarships to the provincial government represented by Governor Roel Degamo.
The TESDA chief also inducted newly-elected officers of Negros Oriental Association of Training Institutions.
Scholarship coupons were also handed to Kapisanan ng mga Broadcaster sa Pilipinas in Negros Oriental.
Villanueva signed a Deed of Usufruct covering a 500-sq. m. lot Dumaguete City government donated to TESDA as site for the agency’s provincial office.