CDC launches ‘Aeta-preneur’ program

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

CLARK FREEPORT – The Clark Development Corporation (CDC) has launched a livelihood program that would support and augment the economic needs of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) here and Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) that will be employed inside this Freeport.

CDC President Arthur P. Tugade, during the state-owned firm’s monthly flag-raising ceremony, announced the launching of the “Aeta-preneur” program, a project that provides a variety of livelihood programs to support financial needs of Aetas here.

“Christmas is a time for giving. And what better way to give back to our Aeta brothers and sisters than to teach them new skills and new methods to earn a decent living,” Tugade said, adding that the state-owned corporation has partnered with the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (Tesda).

“Our Aeta brothers and sisters are often seen peddling native wares and products. But we at the CDC are not content in just seeing them as mere vendors. No more selling of golf balls. There should be more,” the CDC president emphasized. Since the Freeport is a haven for golf, some Aetas gather stray golf balls and re-sell them to golfers and tourists.

Tugade noted that the CDC has provided Aetas training in various livelihood programs such as wellness massage, electrical and plumbing, negosyo karts, desilting and hallow blocks making, among others.

He added that the training for wellness massage, electrical and plumbing are part of the project dubbed “Kabuhayan para sa may Kapansanan at Katutubo” or KKK.

Also, the CDC is preparing to construct a wellness coffee and snack bar. The proposed venue is already cleaned and painted. The rooms have also been equipped with used air-conditioning units. A KKK committee was also formed to look for potential concessioners to employ Aetas or PWDs for sustained income.

The CDC’s livelihood program also includes a desilting project for Aeta communities. The project will initially involve some 50 Aeta members of the Mabalacat Aeta Tribal Association or MATA.

To complement the desilting project, Tugade said Aetas will also run a small hollow block making business. But Tugade stressed that the hollow blocks manufactured by the Aetas will only be used to build small structures like concrete fences.

He added that the training for operators of the hollow block making project has started last December 4.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on December 20, 2013.

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