June 23, 2024

KAPANGAN, Benguet – The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Provincial Skills Training Center will soon rise in this town and is expected to benefit not only the people in the locality but those from other underlying towns as well.
Mayor Manny Fermin, in the Laging Handa Network Briefing on Tuesday hosted by  Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar , said   the groundbreaking ceremony of  the P10 million three-story center in Lomon, Paykek is set  on  Feb. 14.
The local government offered about 300 square meters of lot under a usufruct agreement for 25 years for the site of the building. The construction of the provincial training center is through the initiative of Benguet Caretaker Congressman Eric Yap. 
According to TESDA Provincial Director Vilma Cabrera, Benguet is the only province in the Cordillera without a TESDA training center. 
With Kapangan accessible to areas not serviced by other technical vocational schools, the center’s service area will include outlying municipalities such as Kibungan, Buguias, Tublay, Atok, and Bakun. 
Fermin said the LGU will focus on farmers’ trainings, particularly on organic farming. Almost 80 percent of the town’s residents are farmers.   
The training center will also be a big help especially to young married couples and out-of-school youth. Fermin said this would be an opportunity for them to go back to school and avail of TESDA’s scholarship program with daily allowance provided  during the pandemic, he added.
Fermin said some farmers have already benefited from TESDA’s trainings, particularly on organic farming.
The training is a component of the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan on Sustainable Agriculture Program (KsK-SAP) training spearheaded by the SM Foundation Inc. and SM Supermalls, in partnership with the local government together with concerned agencies and private companies.
The KSK-SAP is a holistic training program designed to prepare farmer participants in becoming productive and effective farmer entrepreneurs through the convergence of private and government sectors and offices. The trained farmers are reaping the benefits and are now marketing their organic vegetable produce to SM Baguio and some parts of Laguna. 
“‘Yun po ‘yung ating programa dito, we have to be sure na tutulungan natin ang mga farmers,” the mayor said . –Susan C. Aro