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PIA Press Release

Butuan masahista group upbeat on sustainability

by Gervacio Dauz, Jr.

Butuan City (23 September) -- Twenty nine masseuses, who marched for graduation this 18th day of September 2010 at the Barangay Youth Center here, became upbeat and optimistic of the bounties that could be theirs because benefactors and development facilitators such as the Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU), PANGKALAMBUAN and other government agencies are providing them with a helping hand and a ray of hope for a sustainable tomorrow.

Hon. Higinio S. Castaņares, Brgy. Captain here, announced that the BLGU council has already approved in principle a commitment of PhP15,000.00 as a startup fund support for their collective livelihood venture. He likewise offered and designated one room of the Center, alternately used as an office of the Barangay Health Unit, to rev up their proclivity and inclination for practicing their new-found trade, which is body massage.

He was of the belief that it is better to "teach a man how to fish, so that he will be able to feed himself for a lifetime." That's why he deemed that their trade, acquired through Alternative Learning System (ALS), is a good leverage for them to raise additional income for their family. He further suggested that they should organize themselves into a group so that at the bottom line the initial gains they have might be sustained.

Ana P. Lasco, Education Supervisor I of the Department of Education ? Butuan City District, urged the graduates in her remarks that "you should start with your family. And if you have mastered it, you can radiate to the community where many needs your services."

In consonance, TESDA came into the picture, offering a lifeline in terms of facilitating the group's inclination to be organized, even to the point of helping them acquire a legal personality, so that they can transact business officially, not simply in a clandestine manner.

Mr. Gervacio C. Dauz, Jr., Special Projects Focal Person who represented Provincial Director Leo Velez during the affair, said that "without legal personality, you will appear to be simply an informal group, which in a worse- case scenario can be sued easily by existing massage parlors which got a license to operate. To parry that, we shall therefore try to organize you into an association with legal personality."

In order to realize their desire, Mr. Dauz oriented them with the requirements and walked them through the means and manner of attaining or achieving a legal personality. Because of the guidance, the massage group resolved that they would apply for registration as soon as possible.

PANGKALAMBUAN and the World Vision Development Foundation, Inc supported the massage group throughout the training period and had even provided them with a start up kits individually containing large towel, face towel, baby powder, alcohol, lotion, and massage oil in order for them to ply their trade.

World Vision, which is their main benefactor, envisions them to become self-reliant and sustainable so that they can support themselves through thick and thin by the time it withdraws in year 2013.

Ms. Leonora Missiona, facilitator of the massage skills training and also a nationally certified masahista through the PGS Scholarship, became the interim President of the group for purposes of registering them. She was thankful of the intervention and expressed that "without TESDA helping us with the plan to be registered, we might be groping in the dark after our graduation.'

Even before the graduation, at least one enterprising trainee in the person of Ms. Ida Parcon testified that as an on-call practitioner she has already regular clients to boost and gained as much as PhP3,000.00 for her initiative. (TESDA-13/PIA-Caraga) [top]

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