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PIA Press Release
2008/08/15

I-CARE program gains headway in Agusan Norte 2nd district

by Gervacio C. Dauz, Jr.

Butuan City (15 August) -- Mr. Rex M. Alemania used to be a picture of a distraught and heavily burdened man who got some Sisyphian tales to share. At 34 years of age, with 10 children and one wife to feed, he has had to drive himself to death on the streets of Cabadbaran City on board a tricycle for hire just to make both ends meet. He said he could not find a better job as he was only a high school graduate and has no sterling skills to make him stand out.

But then, life's full of twist and turns. And it happened that he was called up and asked pointblank if he would be interested to be a scholar for the Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) under the Invigorating Constituents Assistance In Reinforcing Employment (I-CARE) Program of the Hon. Edelmiro Amante, Representative of the 2nd District of Agusan del Norte.

Wasting no time, he grabbed the opportunity and now he is welling with hope as a scholar studying at the portals of a training institution and a university at that.

Just yesterday morning under the glare of the ABS-CBN camera and in front of Rev. John Christian U. Young, President of FSUU; the then Hon. Ma. Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba, who pinch hit for his Congressman father; Leo V. Velez, OIC-Provincial Director of TESDA Agusan del Norte; and host of his classmates and the rest of the audience he echoed his sentiment about his new-found hope as a scholar during a short ceremony inside the FSUU Audio Visual Room here.

"Things look rosy now and I am dedicating this endeavor to my family, particularly to my children, who I desire to offer a better future and perhaps a fulfilled dream," this he shared with tears rolling down his cheeks.

Together with him, there are at least 61 scholars to date and still counting under the I-CARE Program of the Hon. Congressman Amante in collaboration with TESDA, who have new-found hope and are now continuing their studies in different institutions like the TESDA Provincial Training Center in Cabadbaran City, and also the Father Saturnino Urios University, the Department of Public Works and Highways Training Center and the Global Competency-Based Training Center all in Butuan City.

With a whooping total amount of PhP3.0 Million for this year alone, the scholarship covered qualification titles such as SMAW National Certification (NC) II, Barista NC II, Heavy Equipment Operation NC II, Consumer Electronics Servicing, Household Services NC II, plus other courses under the Ladderized Education Program.

During a short message tendered by Ms. Amante-Matba, she pointed out to the scholars: "This scholarship was established by my father to empower you. You know, a lot of degree course graduates have not even landed jobs. Their parents had invested big but the employment opportunity is just nil. "

She divulged too that during his stint as the governor of the Province of Agusan del Norte, she did not mind TESDA at all. "But God has changed my mind," she narrated, "that's why I would like to make up for lost opportunities. That's why, we would like to consume this PhP1.5 Million of my father" and that counterpart of another PhP1.5 Million of TESDA "for this year, so that we can invest another PhP3.0 Million again for next year."

As an advice to the scholars, she pointed out: "we tried our best at investing in your future, so it you should do your part by passing the assessment of TESDA also. Do your part because your ultimate goal is to have a good life ahead"

According to Director Velez, "this certification distribution tour started just recently at PTC-Cabadbaran with no less than Congressman Edel Amante gracing the occasion. And this I-CARE Program is a scholarship in response to the critical need of our industries. Hence, we can't assure you, our scholars, of employment, but at least you will become competitive out of this opportunity."

In behalf of FSUU, Engr. Humprey Ariel P. Tagapolot, Dean of the College of Engineering, shared something pithy to the scholars: "Be a student then, in the truest sense of being a student. Try to be like those who know by heart that learning is not a one-step process, but of stages that require discipline and perseverance. Those who perceive the idea that going to school and studying is not just for fun; it entails duties and responsibilities to yourselves, to your parents, to your school, and to your country by becoming productive citizens."

As said by Dave Dean, and he quoted: "Success is not a matter of chance it is a matter of choice. Success is not something you hope to happen. Rather, it is an achievement accomplished by consistent daily preparation and commitment to a goal with a daily plan of action." (TESDA-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Caraga) [top]

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