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PIA Press Release

60 masons go for trade enhancement and retooling

by Gervacio Dauz, Jr.

Trying to be at par with the best

Butuan City (23 September) -- Sixty masons, majority of whom are considered able and veterans in handling their wares, flocked at the Capitol Compound here this 20th day of September 2010 with the intent of attending the all-expenses paid Ang Espesyalistang Mason basic and enhancement training tendered by Pacific Cement Philippines, Inc. in cooperation with the Provincial Government of Agusan del Norte and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority of Agusan del Norte Provincial Office.

Provincial Administrator Percianita G. Racho, pinch hitting for the Hon. Governor Erlpe John M. Amante, thanked the PCPI or PACEMCO group for choosing the Province of Agusan del Norte as a beneficiary for this sought-after skills training.

In response, Mr. Nestor Y. Saldivar, PACEMCO Vice President for Sales, pointed out that "it is our privilege to serve the people of Agusan del Norte." He went on to reveal that the "Ang Espesyalistang Mason skills enhancement is a flagship program of our company anchored on its corporate social responsibility in partnership with TESDA. It is part of our company's recognition of the value of masons as partners to its business and the construction industry as a whole."

He disclosed that the current group of masons would be the 8th batch in their roster of beneficiaries. The company's aim, he shared, is to "enhance the knowledge and skills of local masons by providing appropriate training and recognition" in order to improve their knowledge, skills and attitudes in accordance with industry standards.

As an icing to the cake, he divulged that under the program each participant will be provided with free tools and uniform, allowance, and bags of cement for training purposes.

His primal request though from the participants was for them to really give their best in order that they will improve their skills and acquire a national certification that they can use to apply for work both here and abroad. "Comes a time," he foresaw, "that you can no longer practice your trade without a national certification."

As a post-training support, he urged the participants to be organized, so that they can easily be found, tapped, and recommended for existing jobs.

Regional Director Florencio F. Sunico, Jr. of TESDA Caraga Region waxed ecstatic in behalf of his agency because the training program has been going on for the 8th time already and even beyond. "Our unflinching hope," he mused, "is that the industry would continue with this kind of arrangement because they know best what's good for them. This preferred mode, which is industry-based, is commendable and the prospect of landing a job is bright for our skilled workers."

Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between and among PACEMCO, the Provincial Government, and TESDA followed suit to galvanize continuing partnership.

Afterwards, Engr. Glenn G. Zerda of PACEMCO oriented the participants on what to expect during the six-day training, a greater part of which would be the acquisition of core competencies like hollow block laying, plastering, and baluster laying. Statistics-wise, he showed that their program as of 20th day of September 2010 had already 223 graduates, wherein 154 of whom were assessed and only 135 successfully acquired the national certification status.

As for regional work opportunity, he shared that the Taganito Mining Corp. in partnership with the Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. urgently need an initial 5,000 workers for the $1.0 Billion High Pressure Acid Leach Nickel Plant in Claver, Surigao dle Norte. PACEMCO, he twinkled, was given the arrangement to recommend workers, particularly masons, for the construction of their bunkhouses, staff houses, administration building, hospital, etc.

Hon. Loreto Maragaņas, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member, pointed out that "organizing the group into an association with legal personality is on the right track so that we, from the Provincial Government, can help you" through allocation of resources.

"The standard that we have," said Leo V. Velez, TESDA Provincial Director, "is a result of consultation with the industry. Our job then is to qualify and certify workers such as you as a matter of standardizing the practice of your trade." He finally declared the commencement of the 8th Batch Ang Espesyalistang Mason Training. (TESDA-13/PIA-Caraga) [top]

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