Dis­placed Ito­gon res­i­dents of­fered per­ma­nent jobs

Sun.Star Baguio - - Top Stories - PNA

ITO­GON, Benguet — Var­i­ous gov­ern­ment agen­cies are now of­fer­ing sus­tain­able sources of liveli­hood to the dis­placed res­i­dents of Ito­gon town, due to the mas­sive land­slide that took the lives of hun­dreds of peo­ple here, mostly small-scale min­ers, last month.

The Na­tional Food Au­thor­ity (NFA) in Benguet, for one, is en­cour­ag­ing the res­i­dents, es­pe­cially in far-flung vil­lages of this town, to sell NFA rice, so that low­er­priced gov­ern­ment rice will be ac­ces­si­ble to the com­mu­ni­ties.

“They can open a ‘bi­gasang bayan’, or a com­mu­nity rice trad­ing cen­ter, es­pe­cially those who are in farflung vil­lages, so that they can sell the NFA rice,” NFA-Benguet Pro­vin­cial Man­ager Ce­cilia Con­cu­bierta told the Philip­pine News Agency (PNA) in a tele­phone in­ter­view on Fri­day.

Con­cu­bierta urged the lo­cals to sub­mit their pro­pos­als for the open­ing of "bi­gasang bayan" for as­sess­ment dur­ing the Ito­gon Eco­nomic Fo­rum or­ga­nized by the Eco­nomic Sec­toral Com­mit­tee of the Cordillera Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Coun­cil on Wed­nes­day.

The NFA was among the agen­cies that of­fered longterm liveli­hood aid to the Ito­gon res­i­dents

dur­ing Wed­nes­day's eco­nomic fo­rum, where over a thou­sand res­i­dents came to avail of the of­fers.

The NFA sold on that day 100 sacks of rice at PHP27 a kilo. Each fam­ily could buy up to five ki­los each.

The Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion and Skills De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (TESDA) was also there to of­fer free skills train­ing to in­ter­ested res­i­dents.

TESDA-Benguet pro­vin­cial direc­tor David Bun­gal­lon said about PHP2.5 mil­lion have been ear­marked for the skills train­ing of the dis­placed Ito­gon res­i­dents. He said TESDA has started its one-month train­ing for shielded me­tal arc weld­ing, elec­tri­cal in­stal­la­tion and main­te­nance, car­pen­try, ma­sonry at the Ito­gon Train­ing Cen­ter in Barangay Tud­ing. The sec­ond batch will start on Nov. 26, with 25 par­tic­i­pants each course.

He added the cus­tomer ser­vice skills train­ing, which was im­ple­mented by the For­est House As­sess­ment and Train­ing Cen­ter, was started on Oct. 10 with 60 par­tic­i­pants.

Bun­gal­lon said TESDA will re­fer the trainees to part­ners and com­pa­nies for em­ploy­ment, once they get their na­tional cer­ti­fi­ca­tion that they can do their cho­sen jobs well.

The De­part­ment of La­bor and Em­ploy­ment (DOLE) of­fice in the Cordillera Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion also held a job fair dur­ing the eco­nomic fo­rum.

The fo­rum's in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer, Pa­trick Ril­lorta, of­fered to the res­i­dents 3,970 job va­can­cies, of which 2,280 were for over­seas em­ploy­ment, and 1,690 for lo­cal em­ploy­ment.

Twelve com­pa­nies and three man­power agen­cies of­fered the job va­can­cies. Fifty­four were hired-on­the-spot, of which 26 were for lo­cal em­ploy­ment and 28 for over­seas jobs.

The De­part­ment of Trade and In­dus­try (DTI) also brought the "Diskwento Car­a­van," were ba­sic goods were sold by lo­cal part­ner, Tiong­son Su­per­mar­ket, at five to 10 per­cent dis­count.

The De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture also set up a “TienDA” store and pro­vided sell­ing ar­eas for var­i­ous crops.

DTI-Cordillera re­gional direc­tor Myrna Pablo said Fri­day the event last Wed­nes­day was an off­shoot of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte's or­der for gov­ern­ment agen­cies to con­verge and con­sol­i­date their ef­forts to aid the Ito­gon sur­vivors.

“This is a re­sult of the call from the Pres­i­dent through Pres­i­den­tial Ad­viser (Fran­cis) To­lentino for agen­cies with eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties to be to­gether and ex­tend as­sis­tance,” Pablo said. “We are get­ting a com­plete pro­file of the res­i­dents, which will be the ba­sis for a long-term as­sis­tance pro­gram,” Pablo said.

Also, at the event were the Philip­pine Over­seas Em­ploy­ment Agency, Mines and Geo­sciences Bureau, So­cial Se­cu­rity Sys­tem, Em­ploy­ment Com­pen­sa­tion Com­mis­sion, Oc­cu­pa­tional Safety and Health Cen­ter, and the Philip­pine In­for­ma­tion Agency.

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