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06 May 2009

SBMA kicks off livelihood training program

Seeking to head off further effects of the global economic downturn among the labor force in the greater Subic Bay area, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) launched the first installment in a series of livelihood training-seminars to educate displaced workers and unemployed residents on how to start micro businesses of their own.

The seminars which are being organized by the SBMA in cooperation with Sipag at Tiyaga Foundation, Divine Mercy Apostolate, Bataan Peninsula State University (BPSU), and the 132nd Squadron of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA), will be conducted for free, said SBMA Chairman Feliciano Salonga.

“Our target participants are workers and heads of families who have been displaced, or whose income have been severely reduced by the present economic slowdown. And we won’t be charging them for these. We just intend to help provide them with some new means of earning a living to cope with the crisis,” Salonga further said.

The first training sessions, which were held at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center (SBECC), were conducted by technical experts from the BPSU and lasted for three hours each.

Armie Llamas, manager of the SBMA Public Relations Office, said that the training focused on candle making,
as well as the production of powder detergent, dishwashing liquid, and fabric softener.

“This is actually the start of a series of seminars that we have lined up. In the next seminar, we will be teaching participants basket making, stuffed toy making, fruits and meat processing, and baking,” she said.

Among the more than 350 participants who joined the first seminar were residents of the Nagyantok fishing community in barangay Cawag, Subic, Zambales, Llamas said.

The training was also attended by members of the SBMA Landfill Recyclers Association who were econom
ically affected by the recent closure of the landfill in the Subic free port; indigenous people from Kanawan village in Morong and Pastolan village in Hermosa, both in Bataan; and members of the Pro-Poor Livelihood Project.

As was intended by the SBMA, the project was well received by the beneficiaries and community leaders in the Subic Bay area.

“Maganda itong proyekto ng SBMA dahil nahihikayat ang lahat na magsimula ng negosyo mula sa maliit na puhunan, gaya ng candle making na mabiling-mabili para pang-regalo o pang-dekorasyon,” said Laureano Artagame, chairman of Subic Municipal Federation of Aquatic Resource Management Committee (MFARC).

Luz Estandian
, chairman of the SBMA Landfill Recyclers’ Association, lauded the SBMA for coming up with a scheme to help participants earn while staying at home.

“Napakaganda ng ideyang ito. Marami sa mga miyembro namin ang hindi naman puwedeng mag-apply ng trabaho sa factory. Dito, pwede kaming kumita kahit nasa bahay lang,” she said.

Last month, the SBMA also facilitated the grant of full scholarship benefits to some 1,000 displaced workers from the Subic free port through
the Pangulong Gloria Scholarship Program in cooperation with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said that displaced free port workers who qualified for the scholarship grants available in many TESDA-accredited schools in the Subic Bay area also received allowances to help them pursue further training.

Among the courses available under the grant are: computer hardware servicing, food and beverage service, building wiring installation, baking and pastry production, house keeping, healthcare services, and bookkeeping. (SBMA Corporate Communications)

PHOTO:

SBMA Chairman Feliciano Salonga expresses appreciation to project sponsors for the successful launch of the SBMA livelihood training program for displaced workers and unemployed residents in the Subic Ba
y area.

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