‘Sendong’ survivors earning out of hollow block making

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

‘Sendong’ survivors earning out of hollow block making
Nicole J. Managbanag

PT: ‘Sendong’ survivors in Cagayan de Oro earning out of hollow block making

AFTER the devastation brought by Tropical Storm Sendong in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan last year, the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (Tesda), through the initiative of its Secretary and Director General Emmanuel Joel Villanueva, provides hope to the displaced survivors by offering scholarship grants on different technical courses.


Around P30 million is allotted to 175 survivor-beneficiaries enrolled for welding, hollow block making and heavy equipment and backhoe operations.

Irene Floro, president of the Skills Mastery Institute (SMI), a Tesda-accredited school tapped to facilitate the scholars, said construction of permanent shelters at the relocation sites for the flash flood survivors is the biggest market of the enrollees as labor force who would be finishing their courses next month.

SMI is currently conducting a 20-day intensive training to student-beneficiaries in which part of the training is the actual operation of bulldozer.

CAGAYAN DE ORO. A student-beneficiary shovels sand while Skills Mastery Institute president Irene Floro (second from left) looks on during a recent hollow block making session at a donated hollow block plant in Indahag, Cagayan de Oro City. (Joey P. Nacalaban)

The students, Floro said, are earning while studying as they would be supplying their finished products such as hollow blocks to habitat institutions building houses at relocation sites particularly in Barangay Indahag.

Floro said the students-labor force earn P1 each of the hollow block they would deliver to foundations helping rebuilding shelters for the survivors.

Around 30 “Sendong” victims were given livelihood and skills training through hollow block making to deal with the demand of habitat organizations of up to six million hollow blocks for the 6,000 houses to be built at different relocations sites here and in Iligan.

Floro said hollow block making was adopted by her skills mastery institute for learning employment success (SMILES Foundation), to make sure that all the scholars are earning.

Backhoe operators, on the other hand, would earn out of digging septic tanks.

After the training, Floro said, the student-beneficiaries are given certificates from the Skills Development agency, which can also be used as proof of landing a job abroad.

Meanwhile, Floro announced that SMI and other Tesda-accredited schools in Cagayan de Oro has filled out the 1,000 available scholarship slots for massage therapy, beauty care, food and beverage, computer hardware services, automotives and bartending also for “Sendong” survivors temporarily residing at relocation sites in Cagayan de Oro.

However, Floro said, accredited schools would be asking Tesda to allot another budget for the purpose.

Other schools offering technical and vocational courses to help “Sendong” victims are DATS Technical School in Lapasan, Xavier University, COBSAT and RTC-Tagoloan.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 11, 2012.


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