TESDA to help provide skilled workers to fast-track expansion, rehab of GenSan airport

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 9 Aug) – The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Region 12 will help provide the needed skilled workers to fast-track the ongoing expansion and rehabilitation of the city international airport.

Rafael Abrogar II, TESDA-12 director, said the move was an offshoot of their recent meeting with officials of Vicente T. Lao Construction, which is leading the development works at the airport.

The firm was contracted by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to construct the P452-million airport passenger terminal building, which is facing a major delay mainly due to manpower problems.

Abrogar, who was joined by TESDA-Sarangani/General Santos (SarGen) provincial director Remigias Timonio in the meeting, said company representatives noted the lack of skilled workers as among the reasons for the delay.

“We will provide skilled workers who are graduates of our training and are duly certified to help address their manpower problem and eventually speed up the construction works,” Abrogar said in a report.

Aside from this, he said they will push for the rollout of industry-based or onsite training program to improve the capability of workers that will be assigned to the project.

The official said the move will increase the pool of skilled workers for the construction industry in the region.

He said TESDA-SarGen will assist the establishment of an “in-company training and assessment center.”

Abrogar said these initiatives are part of the agency’s commitment, as set by Director General Isidro Lapeña, to provide the need for skilled workers of projects under President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program.

“This is also in line with our strategy to ensure that our graduates will get employed after their training,” he said.

The expansion and rehabilitation of the city airport’s passenger terminal building started in 2017 and was originally set for completion last June.

But the DOTr said the project’s current progress is only at 41.02 percent and its completion is targeted by the first quarter of 2020.

The project is part of the P959-million funding approved by the DOTr in 2015 for the upgrading and improvement of the city airport.

It includes the improvement of basic facilities; upgrading of water supply facilities; upgrading of navigational aids; and improvement of various support facilities, among them its power plant. (MindaNews)