Wednesday, December 21, 2016

IT-literacy skills for local out-of-school youth boosted by IRRI's computer donation

Mayor Perez of Los Banos (center) explains how the computers donated by IRRI will help PESO strengthen
its computer literacy and computer systems servicing courses for out-of-school youths in the municipalities of
Los Banos and Bay. Also in photo: IRRI communication chief Bruce Tolentino (left)
and Glescy Trinidad of PESO (right).

LOS BAÑOS, Philippines—The local community Public Employment Service Office (PESO) has received 10 computers from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to support its employment training programs in computer literacy and computer systems servicing.  The program serves out-of-school youth from Los Baños and Bay towns, IRRI's host communities.

Caesar Perez, mayor of Los Baños, is quite proud of PESO's work.  PESO provides employability skills and livelihood training to individuals from the disadvantaged sectors of the community. This helps them to increase their employment opportunities and contribute to the town’s economic growth.

"Our graduates learn plenty of skills," shares Ms. Glescy Trinidad of PESO. “They are all government-certified so they're very in demand. In fact, we have two graduates who are employed as electricians at IRRI. We also have a lot of graduates who are working overseas.”

In 2015, about 300 people graduated from the program.  The graduates come from Nagcarlan, Lumban, Sta. Rosa, Pila, Victoria, Calamba as well as from IRRI’s host communities of Los Baños and Bay.

PESO conducts the training with support from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). A National Certificate is given to those who have finished a course or pass the TESDA assessment after completing their skills training. The program is supported by the One Meralco Foundation, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative of the Meralco company.

“IRRI started working with the One Meralco Foundation, the municipalities of Bay and Los Baños, PESO, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority as part of its CSR initiative in 2009,”  said Dr. Bruce Tolentino, head of communication and partnerships at IRRI.

"Before, we conducted community livelihood projects with the barangays ourselves, but it was unsustainable," recalled Mr. Lito Platon of IRRI's partnerships office. "Now, it's more sustainable because different partners are uniquely contributing to the project. For example, IRRI coordinates the activities, One Meralco Foundation provides the funds, while  PESO and TESDA train, certify the graduates, and make sure they find jobs. So this is really a partnership with a purpose."

Aside from computer literacy and computer systems servicing, PESO provides courses in massage and reflexology, massage therapy, beauty care, electrical wiring, bread and pastry, garments or dressmaking, and motorcycle repair. Next year, PESO aims to add an automotive course.    

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