Project Epanaw Convergence Works: NCIP-TESDA TechVoc Partnership Soon to be Realized!
SAN FERNANDO CITY—Leaders from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Region 3 welcomed National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) R3 Director Atty. Roland Calde and his team in a much-anticipated meeting yesterday at the TESDA Regional Office in Diosdado Macapagal Regional Government Center in Maimpis. TESDA officers present in the meeting were Regional Director Atty. Balmyrson Valdez, Pampanga Provincial Director Atty. Eric Ueda, and Tarlac Provincial Director Mr. John Adawey.
TESDA R3’s warm welcome was greeted by the turnover of the Project Epanaw Coffee Table Books 1, 2, and 3 with the theme, “Pagkilala”, “Paggalang”, at “Pagtaguyod”. Director Valdez and his officers were amazed by the rigor and resilience of the NCIP in coming up with the books despite the obvious physical challenges posed by the pandemic. Being an IP themselves, Directors Ueda and Adawey marveled at the sight of their own indigenous identity featured in the three books. The following ways forward were discussed during the meeting:
1. Strengthening of coordination and cooperation through the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) of the NTF-ELCAC by supporting programs, activities, and projects needed by the 55 Ancestral Domains in Central Luzon;
2. Possibility of creating model IP Communities for food security and sufficiency coupled with TechVoc convergence;
3. Establishing TechVoc training centers near Ancestral Domains in partnership with Local Government Units (LGU); and
4. Creation of the TechVoc Trainers Pool from the ranks of NCIP—this will be a major endeavor requiring series of training and capacity-building. The end goal is to produce certified trainers from NCIP who will directly conduct selected community-based TechVoc skills training in the future.
Director Calde and his team expressed gratitude for the willingness and passion of TESDA R3 in supporting and engaging our ICCs/IPs in the region through its programs and NCIP R3 is bent on pursuing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with them. With these new developments and innovations, both agencies look forward to more empowered indigenous communities.