Top 20 masons in nationwide search join Leyte skills competition

September 20, 2015 11:02 am 

TACLOBAN CITY, Sept. 19 – Cement producer Holcim Philippines has brought to Leyte the top 20 masons in the country for a three-day skills competition as part of the 2015 Galing Mason Award.

The 20 masons were picked from the 189 nominees nationwide for the award, a national search for outstanding masons who show tremendous pride in their profession as well as being responsible members of their community.

Participants will build a fence in Javier, Leyte within the site of 100 permanent houses that will be donated by Holcim Philippines for poor super typhoon Yolanda survivors in the town.

The three-day competition that kicked off Saturday looks into the mastery of masons, particularly on workmanship, technique and speed.

“They are the best of the 189 nominees. Their nominations are backed with documents from reputable organizations and individuals,” Holcim Philippines Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) coordinator Nicki Viriña.

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Eastern Visayas Regional Director Cleta Omega said the search has raised the bar of masonry in the country.

“The people stereotype masons as non-educated and low class workers. This award has professionalized the industry,” Omega added.

Since its launching in 2007, the award is being done every two years. Five national winners were already recognized among the 20 nominees each season who were selected to participate in the final competition.

For the first time, female masons made it to the top 20 in this year’s search, according to Viriña.

After the skills test, all the top 20 nominees will undergo a final interview. The champion, who will be chosen based on his productivity, technical competence and professionalism, and will be proclaimed in September this year.

The most outstanding mason will receive Php 150,000 in cash while the top 10 finalists will take home Php 20,000 in cash.

This award is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility program done in partnership with TESDA, Philippine Constructors Association, Association of Construction and informal Workers, and the National Housing Authority.

The program includes the galling mason training to enhance the capability of a mason before he is certified by TESDA.

Holcim has so far trained about 5,000 masons under the program which helped improve their skills and professionalized the industry. (PNA)

RMA/SARWELL Q. MENIANO

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