DOLE Catanduanes recognized as outstanding partner of DSWD
posted 1-Jul-2019  ·  
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Legazpi City – For Mr. Russel Ulysses I. Nieves, OIC Provincial Field Office (PFO) of Catanduanes, the key to the Nation’s development and success, is convergence.

This has been the initiative of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Bicol through its Catanduanes PFO together with other government agencies and stakeholders in the areas of micro-enterprise development and employment facilitation.

With this, DOLE Catanduanes was recognized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) as the Outstanding Partner in the implementation SLP projects in the recently concluded Sulong Bayanihan 2019: Solidarity and Innovations in Bridging Opportunities for Livelihoods (SIBOL) held at Sequoia Hotel, Quezon City last June 19, 2019.

He expressed gratitude to the various agencies and stakeholders who became part of the collaboration efforts to transform the lives of the beneficiaries from unemployed to being gainfully employed.

“The DSWD cannot lower the poverty incidence alone. TESDA cannot supply the high demand for skilled workers alone. DOLE cannot address the unemployment alone," he said during his speech.

"But with genuine and strong convergence among all the stakeholders both in the government ang private sector, together we can address all these perennial problems which we can build a strong economy thru the Build, Build, Build program of the present administration and onwards,” he continued.

How convergence began

In an interview with Mr. Nieves, it began during the conduct of Catandungan Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TNK) Job and Business Fairs, wherein one of the participating construction company was hiring 2,000 heavy equipment operators.

“Unfortunately, DOLE and TESDA were not able to provide a single qualified applicant with NC II on Heavy Equipment Operation to the said employer”, he narrated.

With the challenge on demand of the construction industry both local and abroad, he converged various government agencies composed of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), DOLE, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Provincial Government of Catanduanes, PESOs and DSWD to conduct life skills trainings for unemployed and underemployed, particularly those that belong to the marginalized sector.

“Ideally, it was TESDA’s mandate to provide training on the said field, however it admitted that they lack available funds and equipment to conduct training on Heavy Equipment Operation”, he continued.

Hence, the stakeholders were left on a “stalemate” situation, until DSWD Catanduanes offered such training to be funded by its SLP with an agreement that participants must be 4Ps beneficiaries.

As a result of the collaborations among the NGAs, DOLE acted as the training team leader and job matching facilitator. It also provided training on the Occupational Safety Health. DSWD was in-charge of the identification of beneficiaries and in the provision of P20,000 training budget per participant.

Also, TESDA supervised the conduct of the training and assessment. The Provincial Government of Catanduanes and Construction Industry Association provided the training equipment, particularly back hoes and wheel loaders. PESOs assisted DSWD in the identification of beneficiaries. LTO offered assistance in the provision of driver’s licenses as pre-requisite to the training.

Impact of Convergence

Nieves highlighted that the convergence training by the stakeholders was able to complete two (2) batches of trainings with a total of 147 training beneficiaries. All graduates are now gainfully employed in the construction industry.

Three (3) SLP associations with 108 participants were benefited from the engagement of SLP and partners. Rizal vegetable Growers Association received farm inputs/ tools for vegetable production. Twenty-five (25) members of the SLPA are now fruitfully engaged in the vegetable farming and continuously supplying naturally-grown vegetables in the locality.

Likewise, two SLP associations namely Dororian Fisherman SPLA in Gigmoto and Bugao Fishermen SLP Association in Bagamanoc received fishing boats made of fiber glass from the partner for sustainable fishing enterprise.

The initiative was able to address five (5) major impact. First, Skills Development by providing life skills training to 29 4Ps beneficiaries. Second, Job Generation wherein all training beneficiaries were gainfully employed by members of the construction industry association while some of them were able to work abroad as licensed Heavy Equipment Operators (HEO).

Third, Poverty Alleviation wherein the income of families of the beneficiaries were enhanced. Fourth, the initiative was able to support the high demand for HEO by construction industry that significantly complemented the Build, Build, Build flagship program of the present administration. Lastly, beneficiaries were provided licenses and social protection benefits.

Meanwhile, other provincial field offices of DOLE have committed to adopt the said initiative.

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