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69 carpenters graduate from TESDA training, thanks to the Swiss and Philippine Red Cross

Swiss Red Cross Country Representative Robert McKerrow urges the graduates to help rebuild their lives and their communities.

Swiss Red Cross Country Representative Robert McKerrow urges the graduates to help rebuild their lives and their communities.

ORMOC CITY – 69 men from nine barangays in this city graduated from a 15-day carpentry course from TESDA, thanks to the Philippine and Swiss Red Cross which footed the bill for their training.

The graduation rite was held at the convention hall of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints on the morning of Friday, November 21.

The graduates come from the villages of Bayog, Biliboy, Boroc, Cabintan, Mahayahay, Mas-in, Magaswe, Quezon Jr., and RM Tan. They will also be the ones to rebuild the totally destroyed and damaged homes in their villages, in a rebuilding program that will span until the end of year 2015.

In attendance during the awarding of the certificates to the newly minted carpenters was Robert McKerrow, country representative of the Swiss Red Cross. It was learned that the Swiss Red Cross donated 4-million US dollars to fund the program that would not only train the carpenters but also build 628 typhoon-resilient houses and repair almost 900 partially damaged houses.

It was also learned that during their training, the carpenters were paid an allowance of P 400 a day to help them and their families tide over the period that they were studying.

Rubie Gernale, administrator of the Philippine Red Cross here, said that now the carpenters have finished their training, they would be fielded to their own villages to start rebuilding the damaged houses there.

Two trained carpenters will be assigned to each house, again to be paid by Red Cross, and two helpers, who should come from the recipient’s families, will be hired at P 200 each per day.

This way, the Red Cross executives say, will ensure that the new carpenters will have gainful employment for several months to come.

The new carpenters were also given tools and equipment to help them in their new craft. Aside from that, they now also possess NC II certifications from TESDA which would make them eligible for carpentry jobs abroad, as soon as they have finished rebuilding their communities.

The graduates were confirmed by Vilma Arteche, a representative from TESDA.

Also present to witness the awarding of the certificates were PRC-Ormoc Red Cross chairman Climaco Evangelista, board directors Felipa Albaño and Mimi Mendoza, and Aengus Ryan, the Swiss Red Cross Water, Sanitation and Hygiene delegate.

Ryan said that aside from training the carpenters and rebuilding the lost homes of the residents of the nine barangays, they also installed a communal water system, to help in the sanitation needs of the dwellers.

However, they are having a problem at Brgy. Mahayahay, said Rubie Gernale, because of its altitude.

Meanwhile, Mayor Edward Codilla came in a bit late. During his inspirational talk, the mayor advised the newly trained carpenters to hone their craft, to practice what they learned. He said that right now, the certificates in their hands are just pieces of paper, and it is up to them to make or unmake their futures now that they are lucky to get the training as carpenters. By Lalaine M. Jimenea

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