February 26, 2024

In a bid to elevate the skills and competence of Baguio citizens, the Baguio City Council has enacted an ordinance institutionalizing the “Matakal Jen Obda” Skills Festival to be held every last week of September of every year.

The ordinance underscores the importance of high-quality craftsmanship and skills, aligning with the city government’s overarching objective in providing quality training and education for its citizens.

According to Councilor Vladimir Cayabas, main author of the ordinance, the festival is expected to strengthen the city’s position as a creative city and the educational center of the north.

Named after the Ibaloi term meaning “skills in working,” the “Matakal Jen Obda” Skills Festival intends to promote technical-vocational education and training to address skills mismatches and discover and prepare local talents for national and international competitions.

The festival will feature various activities including a skills fair and exhibit, local skills olympics, skills and innovation summit and career fair, skills benchmarking, demonstrations by special education students, presentations related to indigenous peoples creative practices, and capacity development sessions for trainers and creative skills advocates.

A working committee chaired by the mayor will be created to execute and oversee the festival. The members of the committee are representatives from various sectors such as education, commerce, government agencies, and creative councils. 

An amount of P500,000 from the city government’s coffers will be allocated every year to cover the expenses in the conduct of the annual festival. – Jordan G. Habbiling