By Dhel Nazario
Some 6,000 victims of human rights violations under the Marcos regime have been identified in an initial list of eligible claimants by the Human Rights Victims Claimants Board (HRVCB) for the nonmonetary reparation (NMR) being implemented in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
TESDA director-general Secretary Guiling “Gene” A. Mamondiong has stressed that TESDA, one of the implementing partners of HRVCB, will not be giving out financial assistance to the human rights victims.
Instead, the agency would provide training interventions that would help the members and their families improve their chances of getting jobs either through wage or self- employment.
“The eligible beneficiary may avail of the free skills training and other TESDA services such as training needs assessment, career counseling, competency assessment and certification, entrepreneurship training and job referrals. They may avail of multiple scholarship programs but not simultaneously,” Mamondiong said.
He further stressed that the beneficiaries may go directly to the nearest TESDA office to inquire and avail of the various scholarship programs such the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP), Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA), Special Training for Employment Program (STEP), and Language Skills Training.
In the absence of a surviving human rights victim, the benefit can be availed of by one of the human rights victim’s qualified dependants.
After the beneficiary has completed the training, TESDA will endorse the eligible graduate to the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) of the local government units (LGUs) for job referral.
The government recognizes the heroism and sacrifices of human rights victims during the Martial Law Regime from Sept. 21, 1972 to Feb. 25, 1986.
“It also acknowledges its moral and legal obligation to provide reparation to the victims, as part of their right to access to justice, with the objective of ending human rights violations committed within its territory by state agents,” Mamondiong said..
Aside from TESDA, the HRVCB has met with various government agencies to discuss and clarify obligations to provide nonmonetary reparations for victims of human rights violations during Martial Law.
These government agencies include the Commission on Human Rights, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Interior and Local Government and PhilHealth.