IN ONE of his last official functions, former mayor Reinaldo A. Bautista Jr. led the inauguration of the ground floor of the Baguio City School of Arts and Trade (BCSAT) new Tourism Building last June 28.

The inauguration was witnessed by representatives from the Commission on Audit and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda).

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BCSAT's new building is one of the accomplishments inspired by the Co-Management for Quality Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) between the City of Baguio and Tesda-BCSAT. It is also a welcome development for the institution and its stakeholders in showcasing excellence and increasing training capacity to address the growing student population.

During the inaugural program, Tesda regional operations division head Marlyn Necesito and School Administrator David Bungallon expressed gratitude to Bautista and the City of Baguio for sharing the vision towards a bigger BCSAT and commencing the work with full support. Under Bautista's administration, BCSAT received a P3 million counterpart fund for three years.

Bautista assured his continuing support to the institution even with his return to private life.

The former mayor and the BCSAT administration also expressed their optimism for the continuous support of the city under the new leadership of Mayor Mauricio Domogan.

The extension and institutionalization of the co-sponsorship program will be one of the main agenda when they schedule their first board meeting with Domogan, as chairman of BCSAT.

BCSAT Administrative Officer IV Andrea Tadeo stated that the new Tourism Building will house their laboratories for competency trainings in Housekeeping with Commercial Laundry, Commercial Cooking, and Baking and Pastry Production.

"We have already upgraded the facilities and have finished the set-up, so the laboratories are now ready to be used," Tadeo said.

Meanwhile, Tadeo confirmed that their June enrollment did quite well and there are now ongoing trainings for their short term and 2-year TVET programs.

According to Tadeo, some of the popular training courses for their enrollees are housekeeping and commercial cooking.

BCSAT excels in its tourism related trainings. In the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) sponsored national competition last year, BCSAT competed side-by-side with known Higher Educational Institutions in Baguio and from different parts of the country and their students grabbed four first place awards, out of the eleven events they have participated.

Scholarship coupons from Tesda-CAR are set to be released to BCSAT while the July training schedule is now being finalized.

Interested students can always visit BCSAT campus located at Upper Session Road, near PFVR Gymnasium and Quezon Elementary School. (Lito Dar/Aloha Songday)