BAGUIO CITY – The Emerald Small Scale Miners Multi-Purpose Cooperative (ESSMMPC), and PILAK Silvercraft and Gift Shoppe signed a memorandum of agreement through the initiative of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-Benguet in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to implement sustainable livelihood program for displaced miners.
“The MOA signing on March 4, 2020 between ESSMMPC and PILAK Silvercraft and Gift Shoppe was forged for the initial training of 20 beneficiaries in Jewelry Making,” said TESDA Baguio-Benguet Provincial Director Vilma Cabrera. The trainees are the affected small scale miners in Benguet, primarily the members of the ESSMMPC.
The batch is composed of 15 males and five females with the training staring on February 28, 2020 until March 5, 2020.
ESSMMPC president Leoncio Na-oy proposed the said training to enable coop members to process the silver they have mined and establish another source of income.
Meanwhile, PILAK Silvercraft and Gift Shoppe manager Rommel Marcelo said they would share their expertise in Jewelry Making from silver and assured TESDA that his company will absorb some of the trainees if they would pass the company’s expectations and standards after the training.
The agreement states that ESSMMPC is in-charge of identifying trainees who will undergo the skills training through the community training employment coordinators and will provide meals and venue during the training.
PILAK Silvercraft and Gift Shoppe will provide the necessary skills in Jewelry Making through their identified trainer and provide additional tools/equipment necessary for the training.
Meanwhile, TESDA will supervise the training and will provide the P10,000 honorarium of the trainer.
It will be recalled that Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu issued a stoppage order on September 17, 2018 for all small-scale mining activities in the entire Cordillera which displaced thousands of miners.
As the government’s support to the victims, TESDA collaborated with local governments, other agencies and private companies to implement the Bangon Itogon response to the calamity.
For its part, TESDA allocated a P3-million scholarship fund to train 279 individuals, of which 268 graduated. The beneficiaries finished SMAW National Certificate (NC) I, Masonry NC II, Carpentry NC II, Electrical Installation and Maintenance (EIM) NC II and Basic Customer Services NC II. The funds included free training costs, assessment fees and P160 a day allowance.
By Pamela Mariz Geminiano
Photo lifted from Pilak Silvercraft and Gift Shoppe web site