TESDA lights up indigenous communities

Published January 27, 2021, 5:07 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has provided solar panels to people in indigenous communities who were trained in Photovoltaic System and Solar Panel Installation under “TESDA Alay ay Liwanag at Asenso” or “Project TALA.”


The communities, which were identified through TESDA’s Barangay Development Project, are Sitio Blit in Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato and Sitio Dalhag in Barangay Manobo, Magpet, Cotabato.

TESDA Director General Isidro Lapeña is set to visit Sitio Blit this week to see for himself how the lives of the Manobo Tasaday and Manobo Blit have improved since the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood, and Employment Cluster of Region 12 (PRLEC-12), led by TESDA-12, implemented Project TALA in their community.

According to the TESDA Director General, far-flung communities in the country need electricity and a light inside every household.

“These communities that TESDA has identified to start up a Barangay Development Project have different needs. Some of them are so far from the towns and cities that even the service of electricity can’t reach them.

Sitio Blit is among these communities and we are glad to do more to empower the people in the area and other communities in the region,” Lapeña said in a statement Wednesday.

Project TALA was first introduced in Sitio Blit last July and was launched a few weeks later training 100 individuals in Photovoltaic System and Solar Panel Installation for a month.

In December last year, TESDA-12 and partners brought solar panels and light bulbs in Sitio Blit and lighted up the community for the first time since it was inhabited by Manobo Tasaday and Manobo Blit more than 70 years ago.

Aman Odelen, a native of Sitio Blit, said that this was the only time that he saw their community light up since he was born 44 years ago.

“Now, our children can study better. We thank TESDA because they’re the one who started this program,” he said.

TESDA-12 Regional Director Rafael Abrogar II said Lapeña has already approved funding for additional solar equipment to light up another 150 households.

Twenty-five individuals from the Manobo Tribe in Sitio Dalhag, Manobo, Magpet, Cotabato have also received solar equipment from TESDA after learning Photovoltaic System and Solar Panel Installation.

TESDA said it is committed to light up over 1,000 more households in other remote villages in Socsargen under Project TALA this year.