OVP Visits Dualtech, Inspires Veruela and Basilan Scholars
Solving poverty by bridging the gap between available jobs and skill deficiency, Angat- Buhay program, the flagship anti- poverty program of the Office of the Vice- President (OVP), arranged the Vice President’s visit to Dualtech Training Center last April 4, 2019.
A milestone for Dualtech Center, the visit opened discussions among stakeholders and various industrial- manufacturing firms, to coordinate on necessary skills development program for the youth from different regions in the country with high poverty incidence and unemployment rate.
The partnership between OVP and Dualtech Center extends services to poor communities across the country, as the former seeks more partnership to cater 176 areas from 50 pilot local government units when they first launched the program in 2016.
Included are the communities in Veruela, Agusan del Sur and Sumisip, Basilan where the likes of Noel Corvera and Jann Carlo James A. Abasto respectively live.
For four years, Corvera worked as a computer attendant in a small shop owned by his auntie. He earned around a hundred- fifty a day, not even enough to feed his six younger siblings. Although he is a Marine Transportation undergraduate, the lack of opportunity in their province, and its neighboring towns, kept Corvera in their place. His parents are both working in the municipal hall of Veruela.
About 908 kilometers from Agusan del Sur, Abasto faced the continuous threat of militant group insurgencies in Sumisip, Basilan. The spate of encounters between Abu Sayaf terrorists and the Philippine Marines, Army Special forces and Ranger units displaced young men like Abasto, who in spite of finishing a two- year associate course in Computer Science, given the current situation of their locality, found it hard to begin a career.
For two years, he was jobless.
“Mahirap maging tambay lalo na kung mayroon tayong pangarap na ating gusting abutin. May mga pangarap ako sa aking sarili ngunit hindi ko maabot kasi di na ako masuportahan ng aking mga magulang,” he narrated. In an attempt to help ease his family’s financial difficulty, he worked as a construction worker. “Nagbuhat ako ng bato at nagpala ako ng buhangin. Naisip ko na lang kada matatapos ang araw, ganito na lang ba talaga ako?”
For both Corvera and Abasto, hope came in their province when Dualtech Center was introduced by the OVP to their local administrators. The latter saw the offered Electromechanics program, following the German dual training model of education, as a way to elevate the lives of OSY groups, along with their families, thus promising progress and lasting impact in their provinces.
“Ngayon, nakakapag- aral na ako dito sa Dualtech. Ito na talaga yung simula para sa aking pangarap,” Abasto said. He is now preparing for his in-plant training. Corvera, on the other hand, is in his 7th month of training at Autodelta Parts and Services in Alabang.
“Malaki ang aking pasasalamat dahil ang Dualtech ang nagsilbing daan o tulay sa aming kinabukasan. Nagpapasalamat din ako sa mga taong tumulong sa amin upang kami ay maging matatag. Dahil sa kanila, Nakita naming ang aming kinabukasan na kailangan na lang naming maabot,” Corvera shared.
These stories are the testaments of how the Angat- Buhay program of the Office of the Vice- President transformed the lives of many Filipino marginalized families. Angat- Buhay has opened doors for Corvera and Abasto who are among over a hundred scholars.
OVP, however, emphasized that their collective efforts are beyond merely helping the poor, but to serve as an eye opener that there is another way of creating projects that impact Filipino families. Robredo argued that instead of doling-out cold cash to needy countrymen, in the absence of sustainable programs like livelihood and education, the support would only last for a very short period.
“Ang ginagawa namin yung tulong na may multiplier effect,” she explained. “Yung gumastos kami sa’yo (to the students) ng 10, 000 [or] 20, 000 [or] 30,000, hindi lang po ikaw ‘yun. Ikaw, plus ang pamilya mo… at ang mga taong nakapaligid sa’yo na mag- benefit dahil sa scholarship na’to.”
As she concluded her message, Robredo left a message not only for Basilan and Veruela scholars but for all. “Sana sa pagkatapos ninyo dito, kung magbabakasyon kayo [sa inyong lugar], makikita ng ibang tao na iba na yung pagkatao mo, di ba? Yung mga parents ninyo, mapapasaya ninyo. Hindi lang ito yung pera, hindi lang ito yung trabaho, pero yung pagkataong nahubog dahil sa experience dito.”
Lastly, the OVP also thanked Dualtech Center and its partners “for everything that you are doing for the community.” Robredo asserted that the influence Dualtech has done in the community is beyond anyone could imagine in changing the lives of many young men across the country.