CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Governor Dennis Delta Pineda has urged incoming educational scholars of the provincial government to excel in their studies and training to be able to be more competitive in the job market.
Pineda cited as an outstanding example Jeremiah Paula Austria Caceres, who topped the June 2019 Nurse Licensure Examination (NLE). The topnotcher from Angeles University Foundation garnered a percentage rating of 87.40, landing her first place, a spot she shared with Almira Hinsoy of West Visayas State University.
The provincial government supported Caceres for two years through the Educational Financial Assistance Program (EFAP), which Vice Governor Lilia Pineda started when she was governor in 2010. Provincial Board Member Fritzie David-Dizon, as councilor of Porac town, enrolled Caceres in the EFAP.
Through EFAP, the provincial government in academic year June 2018 to March 2019 supported 20,808 college scholars and professional licensure takers, investing almost P82 million in them. On top of these, the provincial government gave cash aid of P2,500 to each in the first batch of 15,331 K-12 graduates last March 2019 for a total of P38.330 million. The Pineda administration has invested P1.2 billion on education from 2010-2018.
Caceres said “having been given this kind of opportunity by the government helped me in such a way that I didn’t have to worry about my finances while I was studying. I was able to solely focus on my studies as I knew that my family wouldn’t have that much of a hard time settling the bills for my matriculation because of the presence of (EFAP).”
Topping the NLE had no secrets, the 20-year-old beauty added. “It’s hard to say the exact thing that I did in order to land the number one spot because frankly, there was no formula involved. I just tried to do my best and make the most out of every opportunity wherein I thought I could learn something. I always kept in mind the people for whom I was doing it for and of course, I prayed for it a lot. I didn’t actually ask for much, only passing it was enough but thanks to His grace, what seemed impossible back then turned into a reality,” Caceres said.
She is proud of her mother, Sylvia, who has a high sense of civic duty. Sylvia worked as a barangay health worker for 22 years and recently volunteered as a Nanay Community Worker (NCW), a program that Governor Pineda organized when he was vice governor and co-chair of the Pampanga Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
There are not less than 1,000 NCWs all over the province, helping in health, peace and order and disaster prevention programs.
Speaking of her mother, Caceres said: “When I asked her why she decided to be in the NCW, she told me that the extra information that she gains from seminars have become really handy. She also added that being of service to the community and being able to help people even in her own little way gives her fulfilment and joy.”
Caceres has received several job offers but she has not yet accepted any in particular.
Governor Pineda said that should she prefer to render service in public health, he would gladly help her get employed in the capitol’s provincial hospital or district hospitals.
“Hinihikayat ko ang mga capitol scholars na gayahin si Jem (Caceres) na maging mahusay sa kanilang pag-aaral at training para agad silang magkatrabaho. Pinag-iigi po natin ang employment placement assistance program para makatulong sa ating mga kabalen na makahanap ng trabaho dito o sa abroad,” Governor Pineda said.