MONKAYO, Compostela Valley (PIA) -- Exactly 38 former communist rebels who graduated from the technical vocational education and training of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) obtained on Monday (July 8, 2019) national certifications for their skills.
During the graduation ceremony held at the 25th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Monkayo, 32 former members of New People's Army received National Certification (NC) I for shielded metal arc welding. The rest acquired NCII for animal (swine) production.
Aside from distributing the certificates, TESDA XI also handed starter kits to the graduates.
Arlyn Bandong, the TESDA provincial director for Compostela Valley before her transfer to Davao del Norte, stressed that the training and skills assessment acquired by ex-NPA members are solid evidence that the government did not neglect men and women in far-flung communities.
Bandong said that the skills training for the former rebels was just one of the many programs of the government geared towards attaining lasting peace in the country.
Dell, 23, the only woman among the graduates, said that even if welding is dominated by men, she did not feel that the training was difficult.
"Makaya ra man kung kursunada lang ka ug determinado; ning sampa man gani sa bukid na wala'y kapadulngan, kini pa kaya," said Dell. (Dell, of course, is just a pseudonym for her safety).
Dell, an NPA member from 2014 until her surrender on May 2018. plans to put up a shop at her hometown in Davao Oriental since she observed that the place has no welding shop.
She praised Tesda for the entrepreneurship seminar given last month (June 2019) which she said helped her decide on putting up a shop. (PIA-XI)