Typhoon victim turns over new leaf through skills training

February 24, 2014 7:54 am 

MANILA, Feb. 23 — Waking up to muddied roads, flattened homes, and personal belongings strewn everywhere after typhoon Pablo battered southern and central Mindanao region, Hospecio Lesmis knew he had no choice but to rebuild.

Just how to do it and where to find the resources were the big questions.

It was by a stroke of luck that he met a townmate, Teddy Lasdoce, who introduced him to the Cash for Training Program (C4TP) of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Lasdoce, an engineer who, like Lesmis, hails from Davao Oriental, was going around the village to spread the word about the program. He told Lesmis about how he can enroll in the program, not only for free, but with a little allowance. And more importantly, Lesmis learned that the program offered to train people on construction skills that they could use to build structures,including their own houses.

The 48-year-old Lesmis tried his luck, was admitted in the program and took a course on Carpentry, Masonry and Electrical Installation and Maintenance. After completing the training, he underwent the competency assessment, passed and was given the TESDA National Certificate.

The onslaught of the typhoon that inundated many communities in Mindanao region, including their town in Boston, Davao Oriental, made it impossible for the residents to return to their normal source of livelihood, which were farming and fishing.

The C4TP made it easier for flood victims like Lesmis to turn over a new leaf by becoming skilled and eventually using this to find new means to earn a living.

"TESDA, DSWD and other agencies were instruments to reshape and renew our lives from the suffering we encountered because of typhoon Pablo. The program helped us to rebuild our communities," Lesmis said.

Apart from the training, Lesmis and the other beneficiaries received cash assistance and tool kits to help them in the construction works for the houses of the typhoon victims.

Lesmis, a father of three, said he will use his new found skills to find a job and to continue building a permanent home for his family "that could withstand the wrath of any typhoon, so my family will forever be secured and protected."

"I would also like to build my own hardware business in the future," he added.

Once upon a time, Lesmis dreamt of entering the Philippine Army, but was dissuaded by his mother because of safety concerns. He said he found the work of those in the military service noble, especially those who take part in the engineering brigade because they help build communities.

His National Certificate from the TESDA training will take him to the same goal, only through a different route. (PNA)

CTB/PR/RSM

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