'Pablo' victims train to rebuild homes

Posted at 12/31/12 12:41 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon “Pablo” left thousands homeless, ravaging homes and causing almost P40 billion in damages to property.

In an effort to help empower typhoon victims overwhelming difficulties, the government’s Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) said in a statement that it will conduct a training program in Mindanao on construction-related skills such as carpentry, masonry, electrical installation and plumbing.

The program, said TESDA chief Joel Villanueva, will enable victims to rebuild their homes and hopefully help communities get back on their feet. It will run from December 2012 to May 2013.

"We will provide the tools, supplies and materials to give the victims new skills that they can immediately use in building temporary shelters and building relocation shelters and row houses once the relocation sites have been identified by the LGUs with the assistance of the proper national agencies.  This will help their communities start anew," he said.
Villanueva said they have started mobilizing their schools and training centers in the Davao and CARAGA regions for the training.
The initiative is under the Cash for Training Program (C4TP) of TESDA and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

"The training will not only equip them (typhoon victims) with the constructions skills, but will boost their morale knowing that they have a role in the rehabilitation efforts, and not merely recipients of government aid," Villanueva said.
TESDA regional directors in the affected areas will directly coordinate with their counterpart in the DSWD for the list of beneficiaries in the worst-hit areas, and recruit the training participants.

Aside from the TESDA training centers, other schools and centers in Mindanao will also be tapped to assist in the program, the government said.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that as of Christmas day, a total of 216,817 damaged houses were reported in Regions I, IV-B, VI, VII, X, XI, XII, ARMM and CARAGA.

The NDRRMC also estimated that Pablo caused the most damage in property to agriculture (more than P26.5 billion), followed by infrastructure (more than P7.5 billion) and private properties (more than P2.8 million).