Monday, April 20, 2009

USAID projects praised in Zamboanga City

City Councilor Gerky Valesco speaks during the closing of the USAID livelihood skills training program in Zamboanga City.
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Apr. 20, 2009) – A member of the Zamboanga City Council praised the United States for its continuing support on various development and livelihood projects here.

Councilor Gerky Valesco thanked the United States Assistance for International Development (USAID) for funding the intermediate and advance baking and pastries production for out-of-school youth here.

The project, he said, helped spur the livelihood potentials of the locals as well as the promotion of their communities. Valesco was the guest speaker during the project’s culminating program held in the village of Santa Maria.

Valesco said the the out-of-school youth benefited from the livelihood initiative dubbed as the Technology-Based Community Skills Training (TBCST) under the Education Quality and Access for Learning and Livelihood Skills (EQUALLS-2) headed by Robinson Wee.

“This workshop can spell a difference in the lives of our people and is highly relevant as this will encourage sense of entrepreneurship and the importance of self-reliance to our people, at the same time, their products or outputs can verily help promote their respective villages,” Valesco said.

Valesco thanked the USAID for the consistent and well-meaning intention in equipping Filipinos with livelihood projects amid the global financial crisis. Valesco has been advocating the so-called “One Barangay One Product,” initiative, similar to the government’s One Town One Product program.

The One Town One Product is a priority program of President Gloria Arroyo to promote entrepreneurship and create jobs. Through the One Town One Product, local chief executives of each city and municipality take the lead in identifying, developing and promoting a specific product or service, which has a competitive advantage. It also supports micro, small and medium enterprises to manufacture, offer and market distinctive products or services through the use of indigenous raw materials and local skills and talents.

Valesco’s idea is focused on the potentials of the villages with the direct involvement of the people.

Also present during the Friday’s closing program were Santa Maria village officials headed Justo Lacandalo, Corazon Hericho; and officials from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority led by Maricor Santa Teresa, Joy Wee, Larilyn Lim, and municipal coordinator Nathaniel Asuncion among others. (Jung Francisco)

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