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PIA Press Release

PGMA pledges P13 M for Bohol's Project STARS

by Rey Anthony Chiu

Tagbilaran City (19 June) -- THE national government, through President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has pledged P13M as her share of the ambitious Project Skills Training Advocating Reliance and Self-employment (STARS) while boosting 22,180 jobs in two years here in Bohol.

The presidential commitment, says Bohol Employment and Placement Office head Romulo Tagaan would either come from her Kilos Asenso or her social funds, while the Provincial Government, using its convergence strategy, draws counterpart funds from Bohol Congressional Representatives and its 2009 budget allocation.

According to Capitol Spokesperson Antonieto Pernia at the weekly "The Governors Reports" the president has nodded to the commitment while the provincial government through private sector participation would be bringing the project implementation in the towns.

Project STARS would put government skills trainings programs with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Capitol to the grassroots in the next two years.

The training would be available for the 12 unskilled and unemployed yet capable workers in Bohol's 1109 barangays annually or 24 for the next two years.

Capitol and Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) sources claimed it is aimed to equip at least 24 new workers in different skill competencies most needed in the rural communities for two years.

Governor Erico Aumentado, during the same weekly program confirmed that the president's coming to launch the project, then as keynote speaker during the activities including the Regional One-Town-One-Product Fair at the Island City Mall, and the Tigum Bol-anon sa Tibuok Kalibutan (TBTK) in time for the Bohol Day Celebration July 22.

BCCI website said the brainchild project conceptualized with the Bohol Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council desires to conduct skills training programs providing self-employment opportunities to capable and qualified individuals who are unemployed in Bohol's 1109 barangays.

Tagaan said 12 skills included in the training are welding technology, tour-guiding, manicure and pedicure technology, barber and hair technology, basic electricity, plumbing, therapeutic massage and reflexology, cell-phone repair, driving, small engine repair, household services and television and radio services.

The administration has been into comprehensive livelihood and emergency employment programs to keep people insulated from the crunch hitting the most vulnerable.

In Bohol, many see such a move as a welcome respite for the burdened unemployed which still ranks high despite the opportunities for skilled workers. (PIA) [top]

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