Seventy-four Lumads from Sitio Tibucag received their certificates for completing various courses under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) during a closing ceremony held on Oct. 2 in Sitio Tibucag, Barangay Dagohoy, Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
The skills training was initiated by the 56th Infantry Battalion under the leadership of Lt. Col. Norman Valdez, 56th IB commanding officer, in partnership with Tesda-Davao del Norte; Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office-Davao del Norte; 1003rd Infantry Brigade; Tagum City Trade School; and the local government unit of Talaingod.
Capt. John Louie Dema-ala, the 56th IB Civil-Military Operations officer, said that on Aug. 29, a total of 34 trainees started to undergo skills training for masonry and carpentry for 20 days while on Sept. 24-26, a total of 40 trainees have undergone beads jewelry-making and abaca processing, twining, and scrunch-making.
Talaingod Mayor Jonnie A. Libayao congratulated the graduates and thanked them for finishing the courses. “We are encouraging the participants to avail similar opportunities given freely by the government as this would help you in your daily needs,” Libayao said.
Arlyn S. Bandong, provincial director of Tesda-Davao del Norte, emphasized the importance of having a certificate as it can greatly aid in looking for a job or eking out a living.
“The skills training provided by Tesda is such a big advantage as it can provide them with livelihood and skills that are beneficial in augmenting income sources. Tesda trainings consist of a course designed to complement the skills and knowledge, which are in accordance with industry standards.”
Lt. Col. Valdez commended the efforts of his troops, the men and women of the 56th IB, and partner stakeholders that have contributed to the success of the activity.
“The 56th IB and your soldiers will never tire of helping you so we can find solutions to poverty being experienced here in Tibucag,” he said. “We hope you will give importance and enhance whatever you learned so we can find a sustainable source for the daily needs of our family.”
Col. Nolasco Mempin, commander of the 1003rd Infantry Brigade, said that they are looking for ways to give people skills and livelihood opportunities.
He also called on the surrenderees to help them persuade the New People’s Army rebels to lay down their arms. “This is one of the programs of the government to help them,” he said. “We hope they will finally come down so we can work together to achieve peace and development.”