DSWD, TESDA forge partnership to improve skills in Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/28 September)– The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 12 has forged an agreement with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for the provision of various skills training to beneficiaries of the government’s conditional cash transfer program in Sarangani province.

Gemma Rivera, DSWD-12 assistant regional director, said in a statement the initiative is part of the agency’s efforts to improve the livelihood status of the beneficiaries of the anti-poverty program, which is also known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps.

She said they earlier committed to provide community-based capacity building projects to the beneficiaries, especially those who are already in its final phase, through the Sustainable livelihood Program (SLP).

Under its partnership agreement with TESDA, Rivera said 4Ps beneficiaries in the municipalities of Maasim and Malapatan in Sarangani will undergo various skills trainings that will be facilitated by TESDA trainers.

The implementation of 4Ps is scheduled to wind up in December in Maasim and Malapatan towns.

Through the training, she said they’re hoping to capacitate the beneficiaries towards getting gainful employment or starting livelihood ventures by the time they leave the 4Ps.

Rivera said an initial 375 beneficiaries have signed up to undergo skills training, which includes massage therapy, nail care, fish processing, banana chips making, housekeeping, food preparation, carpentry and masonry.

The skills training, which will be conducted from October to November, will last from seven to 25 days, depending on the course, she said.

Meantime, Noraida Busran, DSWD-12’s SLP regional project coordinator, said that aside from the skills training, the beneficiaries will be provided with post-training assistance to facilitate their employment and the launching of their entrepreneurial initiatives.

She said they have tapped the local government units of Malapatan and Maasim, TESDA, business groups and other government agencies to assist their post-training programs.

Busran said they earlier signed a partnership agreement with Sarangani Energy Corp. for the provision of classroom facilities, equipment and other necessary assistance to facilitate the conduct of the carpentry and masonry trainings in Maasim.

The company, which is presently building a P13 billion coal-fired power plant in Maasim, also committed to help provide employment later to qualified trained beneficiaries from the area, she said.

The 4Ps is a poverty reduction and social development strategy of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to “poorest of the poor” households to improve their health, nutrition and education particularly of children aged 0-14 years.

The program provides beneficiaries cash grants of P500 a month for health and nutrition expenses and P300 a month per child for educational expenses. A household with three qualified children could get P1,400 monthly.

The SLP is a multi‐stakeholder program that aims to improve the socio‐economic status of 4Ps beneficiaries to generate greater impact on the government’s poverty reduction efforts.

Along with Kalahi-CIDSS or Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services, the 4Ps and SLP form part of the three-pronged anti-poverty convergence programs that are implemented by the DSWD. (MindaNews)