Robredo Highlights Dualtech Partnership with LGUs
The Vice-President of the Philippines called on employers to focus on constant collaboration to address the poverty that cripples many far flung communities across the country and to light the path for others during the 40th National Conference of Employers held at Marriot Hotel Manila in Pasay City.
With the theme, “Future- Proofing Business and Industry,” Leni Robredo invited employers and their firms to join her office in its advocacies, especially in helping the poor Filipino youth. She mentioned that the ongoing insurgency and threat of terrorism in the Mindanao region has led to wide displacement of residents, inaccessibility to basic health and medical requirements, and still high rates of poverty and unemployment.
Despite economic growth in recent years, Mindanaon youth remains struggling in facing these conflicts as many parts of the regions continue to be deficient in formal economic, educational and civic opportunities. This combination of factors bring many young people to join militant groups to secure shelter, food, and ammunition for protection.
The Office of the Vice President linked Dualtech Center with some local government units to address the needs of out- of-school youth in finding a means for sustainable living, specifically youths from Veruela, Agusan del Sur and Sumisip, Basilan.
“One of the highlights of this partnership is the 2- year Electromechanics Technology Program where students spent 6 months learning industrial skills in Calamba City, Laguna and 18 months in- plant training in one of its partner companies,” the keynote speaker stated.
As she explained the program to the delegates, she took the story of Joshua Lebanon of Agusan del Sur as an example. “Joshua’s parents are farmers and everyday they struggle to earn a living. Oftentimes, there isn’t enough money to feed him and his siblings. So Joshua goes to sleep at night often with an empty stomach. He quit high school because his parents could not afford to support his expenses”
At that moment, Joshua was contemplating to join the New People’s Army to escape his situation, news came that the local government was opening scholarships for technical- vocational course in Calamba City. He immediately grabbed a slot and, without hesitation, flew to Dualtech Center to start his training. As of now, Lebanon is having his in-plant training at Sonion Philippines in Sto Tomas Batangas.
“These collaborations give us a glimpse of the realities taking place in many far flung communities,” she said. “I hope we can exchange ideas on how to widen our engagement by integrating digital solutions in the workplace and introducing new technology in far- flung communities” she added
Robredo also highlighted the important role each one is performing in building a sustainable future for the youth. “Genuine progress is not just about creation of wealth but the ability of organization to push for sustainable reforms that will allow wealth and knowledge to trickle down to the poorest of the poor.”
As of today, over 100 grantees are having their 18- month training with partners like Honda, Auto Delta and Asia Brewery. There are 20 more slots given to out of school youth from Sumisip, Basilan.