THE Poverty Reduction, Livelihood Employment Cluster (PRLEC) of Negros Occidental, in partnership with the City Government of San Carlos, has launched the Barangay Development Project in the locality recently.

Dubbed “Vamos sa Barangay Codcod, Nataban at Quezon para sa Kapayapaan at Kaunlaran” or “Project Vamos,” the project is seen to benefit residents Barangays Codcod, Nataban and Quezon.

It aims to provide community-based skills training and other livelihood interventions for the three insurgency-cleared barangays identified by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), for a start, will be providing skills training for 63 beneficiaries.

Of the number, 22 are in Barangay Codcod, 20 in Nataban, and 21 in Quezon. All are coming from the marginalized and vulnerable sectors.

The training includes Carpentry NC II in Barangay Codcod, Raise Organic Hogs in Barangay Nataban, and Production of Organic Concoctions and Extracts in Barangay Quezon.

Other PRLEC members like the DILG, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Agriculture, Philippine Information Agency, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of the Interior and Local Government, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Cooperative Development Authority, Philippine National Police and 79th Infantry Battalion are also expected to provide their respective interventions for the three barangays.

San Carlos City Mayor Rene Gustilo and First District Representative Gerardo Valmayor, who led the launching ceremony held at Barangay Codcod Covered Court recently, expressed gratitude to the PRLEC.

The officials manifested their support to the implementation of the “Project Vamos” by signing the pledge of support and cooperation along with PRLEC member-agencies.

Tesda-Western Visayas Regional Director Jerry Tizon, in his message, inspired the beneficiaries by sharing his life story.

“If I made it despite the adversities I have been through, you can do it too. I am a son of a fisherman but I strove to become the person in front of you today,” he said.

Tizon underscored that the programs of the government enable beneficiaries to be progressive skilled workers of the country.

“Never waste this opportunity given to you, especially the help because the knowledge you’ll be gaining from this training program is the only thing that can never be robbed from you,” he told residents.

Tesda-Negros Occidental Acting Provincial Director Romelia Nuezca said the training to be conducted will be funded under the agency’s Special Training for Employment Program.

Aside from the free training cost, the program also provides free assessment, free entrepreneurship training, internet allowance, one-year accident insurance, health/personal protective equipment allowance, starter tool kits and training support fund/allowance of P160 per day.