Oro implements program for out-of-school youth

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014


WITH hundreds of out-of-school youth (OSY) in the city, the local government has welcomed a program that will turn these young people productive.

To concretize the “Abot Alam” program, Teodoro Sabuga-a Jr., city social welfare and development officer, said that initiatives have been put in place to achieve its ultimate goal of reducing to zero the number of OSY in the country two years from now.

The Abot Alam project is a nationwide campaign and strategy with the primary goal of targeting all OSY in the country and reintegrating them to their communities, “achieving a zero percent OSY in the Philippines by 2016,” according to the program’s website, abotalam.com.ph.

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The program is envisioned to help the community-based youth through opportunities for education, possible career and employment.

It might be a gargantuan task but Sabuga-a said they are slowly making that vision into a reality by organizing the city’s OSY through registration with the Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines (PYAP).

He said that so far, around 500 out-of-school youth, aged 15 to 30, have been formed into a local PYAP chapter.

These organized youths, Sabuga-a said, are given the chance to acquire new skills that would help them land a job.

He said the CSWD has facilitated the inventory of the OSY’s potential skills so they could undergo training with the Technical Education and Skills Authority (Tesda).

“A lot of them (OSY) want jobs but they need skills, so we endorse them to Tesda,” Sabuga-a told this paper Tuesday.

The training of the OSYs is done by sector, so that there is a specific employment waiting for them when they graduate from the short-term courses at Tesda.

For instance, the CSWD will meet with the Cagayan de Oro Hotel and Restaurant Association (Cohara) and ask the employment needs of its member establishments.

Sabuga-a said they would base the OSYs’ skills trainings on the employers’ needs to ensure that they will be hired once they graduate from the short-term course.

By giving the OSYs the opportunity to avail of skills training, Sabuga-a said the CSWD and the city government have been slowly implementing the “zero OSY” goal.

The CSWD is a member of the City Local Alliance Committee (CLAC), created through the executive order of Mayor Oscar Moreno which took effect August 28, 2014.

The CLAC is the body that assists and oversees the proper implementation of the Alam Abot program in Cagayan de Oro.

Composing the CLAC are various government and nongovernment agencies, namely, National Youth Commission (NYC), DepEd, Association of Barangay Councils (ABCs), Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Science and Technology, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Public Employment Service Office, CSWD, City Improvement Division, Tesda, Oro Youth Development Council, Balay Mindanaw Foundation Inc., and the Local School Board.

In the executive order, Moreno underscored the need for the youth to choose from among the many options provided by the government.

“Whereas, in line with the vision of ‘No Filipino Youth Left Behind’ or ‘Walang Batang Maiiwan,’ Abot Alam is a three-year national strategy to integrate the different program for the Out-of-School Youth (OSYs), with the intention of providing them with opportunities for education, training, entrepreneurship and career and employment from 2014-2016, and empower them to become productive and creative members of society,” the order said.

For its part, the NYC hopes to register one million OSY by the end of the year, and so far, the commission has registered 1.177 million youths, said Salma Jayne Tamano, NYC presidential staff officer.

She added it is the NYC’s hope that there will be no more OSY by 2016.

When NYC endorsed the Abot Alam program to the LGUs of Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental, Tamano said, “both LGUs are willing to implement the program.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 03, 2014.

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