While conservation works initiated by the Escuela Taller de Filipinas Foundation, Inc. on heritage structures continued amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, its training program had to take a backseat.
The foundation announced on Wednesday, April 28, that conservation activities at the Holy Rosary Parish Church in Angeles, Pampanga are under way.
The conservation effort, which began in September 2019, focused on addressing the damages and deterioration of the masonry walls on the west bell tower of the church.
A team composed of 24 artisans and heritage protectors are executing the program, with six female workers at its core.
Moreover, while regular training programs remain temporarily on hold due to the current community quarantine restrictions, the foundation also announced that it will be offering micro-credential courses on wood technology. This includes basic carpentry, joinery, and an introduction to wood carving.
The program will be carried out in partnership with the Universidad de Manila’s Center for Micro-credential and Industry Training and the city government of Manila.
Escuela Taller Executive Director Carmen Bettina Bulaong said that their organization is in the process of reprogramming its approach to skills transfer, which integrates the blended-learning methodology with its learning-by-doing programs.
This is meant to adapt to the changing times as dictated by the current public health and safety standards in relation to the pandemic.
Since 2009, Escuela Taller has produced over 500 skilled workers. It has completed the restoration and rehabilitation of over 20 heritage structures, including old churches, cemeteries, historical buildings, and ancestral houses in the country.
Through Escuela Taller’s training programs, Filipino out–of–school youth learn specialized skills and knowledge in traditional construction and conservation methods for heritage structures. These in turn help them uplift their economic status.