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Partnership for Progress: DSWD-10 and SMI Distributes Livelihood Kits to SLP Beneficiaries

Malaybalay, Bukidnon – With the government’s aim of mitigating the incidence of poverty in rural communities through the provision of alternative livelihood especially among members of the marginalized sector, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Office 10 (DWSD Region 10) in partnership with the Provincial Local Government of Bukidnon (PLGU-Bukidnon), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Region 10 (TESDA- Region 10), the Skills Mastery Institute (SMI), distributed 50 carpentry kits to successful trainees of the 21-day Carpentry NC II program last January 9, 2017 at Brgy. Aglayan, Malaybalay, Bukidnon.

The activity was attended by officials from the barangay, PLGU-Bukidnon, the Project Development Coordinator (PDO) of the DSWD-10 assigned to Malaybalay, Ms. Richie Dangazo, TESDA -10 officials, and representatives of SMI. In her speech during the handover ceremony, PDO Dangazo, stressed out the need for each beneficiary of the DSWD-Sustainable Livelihood Program to be resourceful and thankful at the same time for being selected to participate in the said training. As she said, many wanted to take the opportunity to join the activity but only those who have the passion to seriously work were chosen. The kits will be used during the 5-day On-the-Job Training (OJT) of the trainees where they will do actual carpentry works and eventually learn through experience the challenges of the course.

The trainees were happy to receive their kits which included one (1) piece of each item: hard hat, hammer, hand saw, gloves, steel tape, plumbulb, L-square, holster, safety vest, ball pen, notebook, uniform, employment booklet, skill booklet and ID. Mr. Jovener Viajante, SMI Carpentry Trainer, gently reminded the trainees to always keep their tools clean, safe, and value it as each item represents an open door to opportunity to make a living. The government together with SMI may not always be there to assist them in their need to acquire lifelong skills.

It was a moment of celebration among those who waited to receive their kits. Smiling faces and cheerful crowd was all over the place. “Looking at what’s inside my kit, I can no longer wait to work on the opportunity to earn additional income for my family. This is it!”, comments one happy trainee. In addition, Georgie Padernal, 48 years old, married with three children, a resident of same barangay, said, ”No amount of words can describe how thankful I am to the government. I have all these for free”. He lamented that life in the province is really hard, especially for undergraduates like him. The job opportunity is very low and limited, and his income cannot suffice his family’s day to day needs. His main source of income is farming. He plants corn and harvests the produce every three months only and sells it to a consolidator. Most of the time he is not able to recover his investment to it as middlemen negotiates the buying price at way below the market.

Now that he has undergone the Carpentry NC II program, he is very optimistic that job opportunities will increase and income will be greater. When asked what he can say to SMI, he simply smiled and said, “Thank you very much for the opportunity” with a teary-eye. A very simple message yet coming straight from the heart of a thankful and hopeful individual who did not stop from attaining what he can still do for his family just because life was hard on him. Instead, he made it as an inspiration and driving force to even work hard, for he believes that his children deserves a good life and a proper education.

Aside from the kit distribution, the students also received their 2 days allowance of P200. And before we ended the program, we wouldn’t want leave without getting a class picture from the students, wearing of course their carpentry uniform.