By Martin Sadongdong
At least 15,000 indigenous peoples (IP) swill get free scholarship training as the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and National Commission of Indigenous People (NCIP) inked an agreement to empower IPs through technical education and skills development.
TESDA Director General Guiling Mamondiong said that the training program of IPs is geared toward transforming them into competitive and productive individuals, especially in their respective ancestral domain.
The project aims to provide National Certificate (NC) and Certificate of Competency (COC) to successful IP-graduates after they have completed their skills training. TESDA will then facilitate the job referrals, according to the agreement.
Mamondiong, who considers himself as an indigenous people, said that this is a way of “correcting the injustices” committed against the Muslims, as what President Rodrigo Duterte had repeatedly said.
“If the government can’t give their (IPs) basic needs, ano ang makukuha nila sa atin? This is like correcting the injustices committed against us. ‘Yun ang sinasabi niya (Duterte) all the time,” Mamondiong said at the signing of memorandum of agreement (MOA) at TESDA headquarters in Taguig City.
Prior to the MOA signing, Mamondiong bared that at least 140,000 scholarship grants have been allocated in three regions mostly composed of IPs. It was close to half of the total 250,000 scholarships to be given by TESDA nationwide for 2017.