TESDA training helps displaced Boracay residents

TESDA training helps displaced Boracay residents
By Ma. Cristina Arayata

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — One week after closing Boracay Island for tourists, an executive from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in Region 6 (TESDA-6) said the agency’s “Action Plan Save Boracay” is a huge help to displaced workers in the island resort.

The social media has lately been deluged with posts depicting the situations of people who lost their sources of income because of the island’s closure.

The government has closed Boracay for tourism for six months starting April 26. The period will be for the island’s environmental rehabilitation.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednesday, Aklan Provincial Director Joel Villagracia said TESDA’s program is really beneficial for the residents of Aklan.

Under “Action Plan Save Boracay”, TESDA-6 prioritizes the displaced workers on the island by providing training opportunities to help them find alternative jobs or upgrade their skills.

Villagracia earlier told the PNA that TESDA-6 targets to provide 5,500 slots for training scholarships within the six-month period.

Starting April 26 to June, TESDA is opening 1,500 training slots, 2,000 more slots in July, and another 2,000 in August.

“Our training programs are ongoing. We provide them with practical training activities, such as welding, cake making, dressmaking, manicuring, pedicuring, among many others,” Villagracia said.

He said as of May 2, about 300 people had availed of TESDA’s training for the displaced workers in Boracay.

“The trainings we provide are a huge help. One hotel here, for instance, asked their staff to avail of welding course. Others could look for jobs in the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) here. They need masons and we have masonry training,” Villagracia said.

He added the trainings could provide the residents with additional skills, so they could find better opportunities in other lines of work.

“There are many tourist operators here. They need drivers for their vans and buses. So it’s another good opportunity for the residents here,” he remarked.

Villagracia said that perhaps the tourist operators need the drivers to offer tourist services to other tourist destinations in Aklan.

Meanwhile, the TESDA official is inviting individuals to avail of the skills training that TESDA provides for the displaced workers in Boracay.

“All they need to do is go to the TESDA training centers to avail of our skills training,” he said. “This is just the first round. By June or before May ends, we will have more training slots to offer.” (PNA)

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