Secretary Joel Villanueva of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) embarked on a three-province swing in three days in the Central Visayas region, signing partnership deals, playing basketball exhibition games, and handing out scholarship vouchers to allow the youth to avail of free training.
The bulk of the scholarship worth P40.5 million was given to 16 municipalities that were affected by typhoon Yolanda in northern Cebu. The mayors and their constituents accepted the scholarship grants.
“We know the typhoon survivors badly need jobs and money. The free training could provide the key to unlocking opportunities that could go a long way,” Villanueva said.
He urged the residents to learn skills that they could use in rebuilding their communities and starting their own small business.
“From carpentry to welding, to commercial cooking and massage therapy, there are a variety of courses that could help the survivors start anew,” he added.
Providing entertainment to the people, Villanueva joined the basketball exhibition game organized by Tesda-7 as part of their social marketing and advocacy program.
“Shoot for your Dream Cebu” pitted Team Specialistas, composed of Tesda graduates and local political personalities, and Team Trabaho, composed of former PBA players Alvin Patrimonio, Marlou Aquino, Bal David, Jerry Codiñera, Rodney Santos, Bobby Jose and Kenneth Duremdes, Cebu Daily News sports writers Calvin Cordova and Jonas Panerio.
Team Specialistas was backed by former PBA stalwarts Ramon Fernandez and Bonel Balingit; Congressmen Samsam Gullas and Bebot Abellanosa; Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama; and businessman Glenn Soco.
While in Cebu, Villanueva also gave an inspirational message to the graduates of the Department of Manpower Development and Placement, the training arm of the Cebu City government. He also signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Cebu Contractors Association for the training, assessment and certification programs.
In Siquijor province, Villanueva led the distribution of training certificates to Tesda graduates, and visited the Lazi Technical Institute, a school supervised by the agency.
In Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, he awarded P1 million worth of scholarship to the provincial government. He also inducted the newly-elected officers of the Negros Oriental Association of Training Institutions.
Scholarship coupons were also handed to the Kapisanan ng mga Broadcaster sa Pilipinas in Negros Oriental.
The Tesda chief signed a Deed of Usufruct to a 500-square meter lot donated by the Dumaguete City government to the agency as a site for Tesda’s provincial office.
Villanueva’s Central Visayas tour took place from June 24 to 26.