BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA-CAR) disclosed that most drug surrenderers, mostly in Baguio City, refuse to avail of the free skills training provided by the agency because they do not want them to be publicly exposed as drug surrenderees.
Engr. David Bungallion, administrator of the Baguio City School of Arts and Trade (BCSAT), admitted that since the free training for work scholarship was offered by the agency to drug surrenderees, no one among the city’s drug surrenderees approached the institution and the agency to apply for the skills training which they should undergo before being issued the coveted national certification or certificate of competency for selected fields that they were able to complete.
He added BCSAT remains open to interested drug surrenderees from the city’s 128 barangays who are willing to avail of the free skills training funded by the agency so that they can use the acquired skills in looking for a source of livelihood for their families.
Rafael Abrogar II, TESDA-CAR regional director, claimed the agency remains open to interested drug pushers wanting to avail of the free skills training, provided, that they are given the clean bill of health by the health department pursuant to the existing guidelines crafted for the purpose.
In Kalinga, TESDA Provincial Director Gabriel Cayacay said some 11 drug surrenderees from the different parts of the province availed of the free skills training offered by the agency on automotive maintenance and others skills that resulted to their being able to find good jobs.
Further, Cayacay added some 4 family members of policemen and soldiers killed in action completed their skills training on bread and pastry making, heavy equipment operation, among others. which they are now using in their newly acquired jobs.
In Apayao, TESDA provincial director Victor Brioso said the drug surrenderees in the province underwent free skills training on carpentry, masonry and basketry.
He claimed some of the drug surrenderees were instrumental in the construction of the office of the chief of police of the Luna Municipal Police Station while the agency was constrained to hire the services of basket makers from Abra to train those interested in basketry making from the different parts of the province.
Abrogar expressed concern on the reluctance of drug surrenderees to avail of the free skills training when their history will be kept confidential as this is the government’s way of helping them fully recover from drug addiction and for them to acquire the needed skills that they could use to earn income for their families.
He appealed to the rehabilitated drug surrenderees to visit the nearest TESDA office in their place to inquire on the free training to help them go back to mainstream society.