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ITOGON, Benguet – The Cordillera office of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA-CAR) and the Itogon Suyoc Resources, Inc. (ISRI) recently entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the sustained implementation and cascading of the agency’s Enterprise-based Trainings (EBT) among the company’s mine workers and residents of host and neighboring communities.
The agreement was signed by TESDA-CAR regional director Dante Navarro and ISRI president and chief executive officer Luis Sarmiento during a simple virtual ceremony and this is expected to boost the implementation of the said program for the benefit of mine workers and people living in the mining communities. The MOA signing was witnessed by Dr. Eric S. Andal, OIC-resident manager of ISRI and TESDA Baguio-Benguet Provincial Director Elizabeth Manio.
Under the agreement, ISRI provides the training venue, equipment and supplies and materials needed for the conduct of the skills trainings; conduct the skills trainings programs; co-sign training certificates; recruit and screen prospective trainees; supervise the daily activities; submit enrollment or terminal reports to TESDA-Benguet and provide and pay honorarium or training allowance of trainers.
On the other hand, TESDA shall ensure that the trainers meet the standard qualifications and possess the competencies required in their respective areas and include qualified trainers in the master list of accredited trainers in the province; provide the curriculum or modules of instruction or learning materials necessary for the trainings; conduct profiling of the trainees; monitor the conduct of the skills trainings; facilitate the conduct of competency assessment of the graduates, if applicable; issue certificates of trainings to the graduates and issue certificates of competency or national certificate to successful assesses if applicable.
Republic Act (RA) No. 7796 otherwise known as the TESDA Act of 1994 mandated the TESDA to provide relevant, accessible, high quality and efficient technical-vocational and education trainings to affect the development of high quality middle level manpower responsive to the market demands and in accordance with the development goals and priorities.
Further, TESDA aims to encourage the full participation of and mobilize the industry, labor, local government units and technical institutions in the skills development of the country’s human resources and it is also created to mobilize the full participation of industry, labor, technical and vocational institutions, local government units and civil society for skills manpower development programs.
ISRI, a subsidiary of the Davao-based Apex Mining Company, Inc. (AMCI), has established a skills and development training program to contribute to the sustainable development and improvement of the quality of life of its employees and host and neighboring communities and outreach programs of various beneficiaries.
Sarmiento commended the ISRI team for not letting the pandemic get in the way of charting milestones for the company and to say that ISRI has bragging rights is gratifying that the aforesaid collaboration with TESDA for the EBT and apprenticeship program is the very first of its kind in the Cordillera.
However, he said that it is ISRI’s way of giving back to its stakeholders, the company workers, the residents of its host and neighboring communities and the nearby areas as the company’s way of forging its legacy of sustainability.
The ISRI official underscored that one of the company’s core values is the demonstration of a high performing team, how the company keeps its performance and a steady state of optimum efficiency by providing access to and opportunities for learning and training in spades.
With TESDA as the company’s partner, Sarmiento claimed that not only is the company able to expand the reach of its skills training as it can also compliment the said courses with institutional certification, a seal of approval that the trainees can use to enhance their employability.
“ISRI is proud of our tradition of malasakit. And Malasakit is not just giving material things like medicines, food and the like, especially during times of calamities and disasters. Malasakit is also helping improve one’s quality of life by helping provide a steady means of livelihood,” Sarmiento stressed.
He expressed high hopes that the said partnership with TESDA will pave the way for many citizens of the Cordillera to be gainfully employed, thus, bringing the talent and skills of the local citizens to all corners of the region, and possibly beyond.
Sarmiento also thanked the TESDA-CAR and TESDA Baguio-Benguet Provincial Office for partnering with ISRI in the implementation of the EBT and apprenticeship program as the agency’s trust and confidence in the company inspires them to do more so that they can change lives for the better. By HENT