27 July 2012
Inmates have as much right to feel good about themselves and develop their skills even behind bars.
With free haircut and grooming kits, a total of 600 inmates from the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) and the Correctional Institute for Women (CIW) found themselves enjoying their new look and their new-found skills from trained specialists of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Secretary Joel Villanueva hopped from one detention facility to the other to join the Specialistas in providing the free grooming services to the inmates.
"A new look for a new you, this is what we hope the TESDA services can do to our inmates," Villanueva said.
The TESDA chief also encouraged the inmates to engage in skills training that they could later on use to earn a living.
The 16 TESDA Specialistas who gave the free haircut at the NBP were joined by 10 inmates who trained in hair styling under a program sponsored by the agency.
In CIW, 15 TESDA Specialistas from the recent graduates of the Mobile Training Plus Program in Barangay Tumana, Marikina provided the haircutting services.
"Being behind bars is not reason to be idle, the inmates have all the time to learn new things to be productive," he said.
Villanueva said he hopes TESDA could institutionalize the free skills training in detention facilities all over the country.
Meanwhile, a total of 685 youth who finished their courses under a joint program of the TESDA and the Department of Labor and Employment received their certificates and allowances in simple rites at the TESDA auditorium.
The new batch of graduates was the biggest so far under the converged Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) of TESDA and the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) of the labor department.
Villanueva was joined by labor officials in the event. The allowances given to the graduates came from DOLE funds.
The TWSP-SPES program targets to benefit at least 7,000 youth from identified poor provinces in the country to make education within the reach of students who could not go to school because of poverty.