TESDA, ILO aid typhoon survivors with training and tools

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the ILO signed a partnership agreement to help thousands of people affected by Haiyan through skills training, decent work and sustainable livelihoods.

Press release | Manila, Philippines | 06 March 2014
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) are joining forces to help an initial number of 1,400 beneficiaries in provinces stricken by typhoon Yolanda.

The beneficiaries, under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on March 6 between TESDA and ILO, would undergo training and would be given the necessary tools, materials and training allowance to help them find employment and access to livelihood opportunities.

"The key objective is to contribute to improving the livelihood of families through gainful employment and other income generating activities, and thereby reducing vulnerable workers and vulnerabilities of women, youth and people with disabilities," the MOU said.

Secretary Joel Villanueva, TESDA Director General, and Lawrence Jeff Johnson, Director of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines, signed the partnership agreement.

"Rebuilding should not be the work of a sole agency, but the whole community," Villanueva said.

"How to do this -- empower the people, arm them with the skills, provide them with tools, so that they become an essential part of communities rising from the shambles," he added.

The project, which will last until December 2014 , will be implemented by TESDA, in coordination with the ILO and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), through its network of technical vocational education and training institutions in the four selected areas.

It will be implemented in Tacloban City, Leyte (400 beneficiaries); Ormoc City and Guiuan town (360 beneficiaries); Northern Cebu and Negros Occidental (300 beneficiaries); Bohol (230 beneficiaries); and Coron, Palawan (110 beneficiaries).

“We think about millions of people who lost their primary source of income to the super typhoon. Through this partnership, we will help them develop new skills and be part of rebuilding their communities, while ensuring their safety and health and providing health insurance and social security," Johnson said.

“Working with the government, employers' and workers' organizations, we support this rebuilding process because placing employment at the forefront of recovery is a sustainable and viable option,” he added.

The training will be organized and delivered in two categories: first, short courses that will commence immediately to respond to the clear and immediate demands on the ground; and, second, training that would have medium or long term effect through courses needed for wage or self-employment.

Skills training for the first category includes construction-related skills such as carpentry, masonry, tiling, roofing, concrete fixing, welding, domestic electrical installation, domestic plumbing, all of which are already in-demand for the repair, reconstruction and rehabilitation of community infrastructure and private houses.

The training is expected to start quickly based on TESDA's training materials, trainers and facilities.

For the second category, training would involve a cycle of activities, including economic opportunities and training needs assessment, conduct of the training, and provision of post-training support. The objective is to equip the beneficiaries with the skills to apply for jobs or start their business.

The training can focus on tourism and hospitality and other service-related skills such as for the repair and maintenance of vehicles, machines, mobile phones, electrical generators and appliances.

After completion of the course, the graduates would undergo assessment to get a National Certificate.

Job placement support (for wage employment) and entrepreneurship training, facilitation for market linkages and other small business support activities will be extended to facilitate the training-employment transition.

TESDA and ILO will also provide post-training support through linkages with government agencies and other groups.

ILO also has well-tested methodologies and tools through the Training for Rural Economic Empowerment (TREE) that it can use for identifying income-generating and sustainable livelihood at the community level and corresponding skills training needs.

Among the livelihood activities are seaweed production, bamboo product making, boat repair, hollow-block making, furniture making using recycled coco lumber and other debris.

Small equipment and tools will be provided to the beneficiaries.

"Rebuilding will be long, expensive and difficult. We want the survivors themselves to be the main actors in this task by empowering them with the relevant skills to bring back their vibrant communities," Villanueva said.

At least 14.2 million people were affected by typhoon Yolanda that hit the country on November 8 last year. ILO said almost six million workers either lost their livelihood or have been affected economically. Of these, 2.6 million were already in vulnerable employment and living at or near the poverty line.

For further information please contact:

Minette Rimando
ILO Country Office for the Philippines
+63 2 580 9905 or 580 9900