Thursday, August 20, 2009

House Speaker Prospero Nograles is 2009 Kabalikat awardee

DAVAO CITY, Philippines - House Speaker Prospero Nograles has been chosen as the 2009 Kabalikat Awardee for Davao Region.

The Kabalikat Award is an annual institutional honor bestowed by Technical Eduction and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) to mark its August 25 anniversary, recognizing its outstanding partners in the promotion and enhancement of technical education, skills development and job generation.

His son and chief-of-staff, Atty. Karlo Nograles, said the Speaker personally receive the Kabalikat Award at the Tesda Women's Center in Taguig City on Tuesday morning.

"With this latest recognition and honor, we could only promise greater efforts to promote technical education and skills in order to generate more jobs," the young Nograles said.

The elder Nograles, the first ever House Speaker from Mindanao, is a recipient of various awards in the past, including the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) for Justice & Human Rights in 1986 alongside Senators Miriam Santiago and Gregorio Honasan.

A topnotcher in 1971 bar examinations, placing second with an average of 90.92%, Nograles is a also a recipient of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) from two universities.

Tesda said the Kabalikat Award will be given to Nograles for his outstanding contributions in the promotion and development of the country's middle level manpower.

Before he rose to become House Speaker, Nograles was strongly behind Tesda's I-CARE, or Invigorating Constituent Assistance in Reinforcing Employment Program that was designed to assist the people in every barangay to be skilled and empowered.

"Nograles's undying support is clearly aligned to his thrust of promoting skills enhancement and at the same time increasing the number of the employed," said an article by the Philippine Information Agency on I-CARE wrote. "This man is greatly concerned in giving his people the capability to be empowered, which would lead them to be productive."

Eureka Patalinghug of Barangay Dumoy is one of the graduates of the I-CARE training backed by Nograles. She applied her learning by putting up a family business.

Believing on her newly-acquired skill, Eureka started a meat processing livelihood. Instead of merely attending to household chores, she tried something different which she loved doing in the long run. The training did not just introduce her a new hobby but also to an income-generating activity.

After the meat processing training, Tesda revisited the barangay to introduce welding skills to the barangay folks. This was one way of offering to the men an alternative livelihood apart from the most common job - fishing.

The training was supposedly designed for men but their wives couldn't help but join the lecture as well as the hands-on activity. Even the children of those men participated that made the activity a week-long family training.

"Nakat-unan namo nga dili mi angay magsalig sa pangisda. Nadungagan na ang among kahibalo parte sa pag-welding mao nga nadungagan pud among kita adlaw-adlaw." (We learned that we should not just depend on fishing. Now we have learned a new skill on welding which has really helped us increase our income),” said Ernesto Baclaan, one of the graduates of the said training.

Out-of-school youth were even displaced from being "kanto boys" to "welders". After the training they felt proud for getting a certificate for undergoing such training. Even though they were deprived from getting into high school or college, somehow they felt how it is to accept a diploma. Now, they can apply for a job related to the skills training they underwent without having to fear rejection and discrimination.

A technical certificate could now bring them somewhere even in the international job market.

Nograles's son also has continued pushing for the program because of the solon's busy routine as a top national leader and the lawyer's own personal commitment to Davao City’s first congressional district.

The young lawyer has noted that most graduates of their training programs now apply the skills acquired in looking for a job. Some of them have landed in manufacturing firms by merely taking advantage of the Skills Certificate they received from TESDA.

Barangay councils have been supportive to the initiative of Nograles and Tesda. Through the funds of provided Nograles, certain barangays acquired welding machines that helped the Barangay folks practice such skill and at the same time use or rent those machines when they get into contracts.

"Makita ninyo nga kanunay puno ang barangay hall og mga tao nga ga-welding. Nakita gyud nila ang kaayo kung duna silay laing skill nga nahibal-an. Daghan sa mga tambay ang nagbag-o ug panglantaw ug duna nay panginabuhi karon. (You can observe that the barangay hall is filled with people doing welding stuff outside. They have really seen the benefits of acquiring a new skill. A lot of jobless residents here have changed attitude and they now busy themselves with work), said a barangay staffer Ellen Perez of Dumoy, Davao City.

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