The Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) as led by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has been helping a village in Pampanga rise to its feet through various government initiatives.
TESDA-Pampanga Provincial Director Eric Ueda noted together with the National Commission on the Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), member-agencies of the PRLEC have been very active in providing livelihood assistance to the Mawacat village in Floridablanca town, which is recognized as an Aeta ancestral domain,and a priority target for communist recruiters.
He shared that TESDA have already trained 25 individuals from the community in Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) NC I. The same individuals will also be provided with welding machines by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
“We will also provide them with SMAW NC II training so they will be more equipped. Now, we are identifying another 25 individuals coming from different families to be trained with Organic Agriculture Production NC II as we are prioritizing on filling up the construction and agriculture labor force,” Ueda added.
DTI have also pledged P40,000 worth of entrepreneurship training and livelihood kits for Barangay Mawacat.
On the other hand, the National Irrigation Administration gave the community two fuel-operated shallow tube wells; hygiene kits from the Department of Social Welfare and Development; as well as corn seeds, fertilizers, seedlings of fruit-bearing trees and vegetables, and other planting materials from the Department of Agriculture.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources also provided the community with ten portable solar lamps and ten gillnets, even releasing 20,000 fingerlings in the river running through the village.
PRLEC-Pampanga was launched in Mawacat on July 28 this year, adapting it as a pilot village.
Ueda mentioned that PRLEC-Pampanga have also recently adapted Mawacat’s adjacent village of Naboclod.
“We will visit Naboclod this week to conduct a needs assessment so we can identify how we can help the community,” he said.
Ueda further added that they are planning to tap the newly-graduated soldiers from the 355th Aviation Engineer Wing of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) who recently finished Trainers Methodology Level I to train residents of their adapted communities on carpentry and masonry.
Meanwhile, TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña commended the PRLEC initiatives in Pampanga and urged other regions and provinces to formulate effective solutions on addressing the needs of GIDAs.
“Imagine how far we can go when we are able to identify and address all the needs of all the GIDAs in the country. We will not only reduce our poverty rate, but also contribute to the labor force of our local industries and eventually, achieve lasting peace in our land,” he said.
Composed of 12 government institutions and private partners, PRLEC is one of the clusters under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) mandated by President Rodrigo Duterte to implement a whole-of-the-nation-approach in helping remote communities in need of assistance and social development.