DOLE Usec joins NFSP graduation 

DOLE Undersecretary . Benjo Santos M. Benavidez  (right)  at the graduation rites with (l-r) ) DOLE VI Regional Director Sixto T. Rodriguez  Jr., Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns  Director Ahmma Charisma Lobrin-Satumba, Assistant Secretary Lennard Constantine C. Serrano, TESDA Specialist Josie Aurelio and NFSP Vice-President Jaime G. Golez.*  

Undersecretary Benjo Santos M. Benavidez of the Department of Labor and Employment’s Workers’ Welfare and Protection Cluster attended  the 63rd Closing Exercises of the NFSP Sugar Workers Foundation Technical Skills and Livelihood Training Center at Bacolod City, recently. 

“Congratulations to the graduates of the NFSP training center! We are happy to witness your graduation, and we pray that you will use the skills you learned from the NFSP Training Center to improve the quality of life of your family and your community. Rest assured that the DOLE will always support this kind of program, which promotes the welfare of sugar industry workers and their beneficiaries,” Benavidez said. 

 Benavidez was accompanied by Assistant Secretary Lennard Constantine C. Serrano, Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) Director Ahmma Charisma Lobrin-Satumba and DOLE VI Regional Director Sixto T. Rodriguez Jr..  

The group was in Bacolod for the consultation on the proposed amendments to guidelines on the implementation of the educational assistance program (EDAP) for sugar workers and their beneficiaries. NFSP is one of the DOLE’s partners in the implementation of its socio-economic programs like the EDAP, which is funded from the liens on the sugar production of sugarcane farmers.   

Guests and the graduates.* 

Aside from the EDAP, NFSP operates a TESDA-accredited training center, which for more than 20 years has been providing technical and livelihood skills training for sugarcane farm workers, their beneficiaries, and out-of-school youth. This program is also funded in part from the liens administered by the DOLE, with NFSP often covering the shortfall from its own funds to ensure the center’s year-round operation. 

NFSP Vice-President Jaime G. Golez thanked the DOLE officials for taking the time to grace the NFSP training center’s graduation and inspect its facilities. In response to the jestful question by Benavidez if the outstanding students are given cash incentives, Golez announced that NFSP will provide incentives for outstanding students of the graduating batch. 

A member of the Sugar Tripartite Council which is the policy-making body of the DOLE’s socio-economic program for the sugar industry, Golez recommended to Usec Benavidez and BWSC Director Satumba to include these incentives for outstanding graduates in the funding for skills trainings programs, and to provide more funding support for technical skills training centers like the program which NFSP implements.     

The NFSP training center is a brainchild of NFSP officers headed by President Enrique D. Rojas and turned out its first batch of graduates in February 2003. The center offers TESDA-registered courses in Shielded Metal Arc Welding NC II, Computer Systems Servicing NC II and Automotive Servicing NC I.  

“Since 2003, the NFSP training center has produced more than 15,000 highly-skilled graduates. Most of our graduates have found gainful employment, and a substantial number of them have even worked abroad. We are happy and proud that NFSP has contributed to the upliftment of their lives,”  NFSP President Enrique D. Rojas saif.   

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