Philippines tells village officials to avail of educational programs

May. 19, 2007

MANILA — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo urged today the semi-employed barangay officials in Sta. Mesa, Manila, to become computer-literate via government educational programs so that they could become competitive when searching for jobs even if they are already in their senior years.

In a visit to Barangay 587-A, Zone 58, in Sta. Mesa, Manila this morning, the President encouraged the barangay officials to let their children try the governments new ladderized education program under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) so that they could immediately use their new-found skills for practical livelihood, and even have their TESDA units later credited in the pursuit of college courses.

The TESDAs short-term caregiving or physical therapy course, she pointed out could later be used as the foundation subjects in Nursing, should one continue on to college.

The President emphasized the need to match the education and skills of workers with the jobs that they apply for.

“Maraming trabaho, pero hindi nagtutugma sa skills,” the President noted.

Barangay Chairman Enrique Babista, a retired referee of the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) and one-time Subic fireman, said the barangay has some 5,000 residents, 40 percent of whom are construction workers, 20 percent with office jobs, and the remaining 40 percent, unemployed.

The barangay has acquired a videoke unit which it rents out to residents to beef up its own income.

The President was accompanied by Jobs Creation Czar Arthur Yap, who brought a Jobs Fair to the barangay via a private sector partner,, which offers both local and international jobs, and even matches education and skills with the jobs offered.

Dressed in maong pants and blue blouse, and in open-toed dressy blue espadrilles, the President awarded the Certificate of Ownership to a Tindahan Natin to the said barangay, plus 100 scholarship vouchers for barangay officials to avail of to immediately upgrade their own computer skills.

Joining the President in her barangay round was Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Bayani Fernando, and Manila 6th District Rep. Benny Abante.

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