TESDA sends trainers to Cotabato on waterlily products

29 June 2011
Several trainers of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) are headed for Cotabato City to start livelihood trainings on using water hyacinths for making accessories and other items.
The TESDA trainers from Manila and from its regional office will aim to gather at least 25 local trainers, who will undergo a five-day activity to equip them with the skills in transforming the water hyacinths into useful and saleable items.
The growth of the water hyacinths, which spread through hectares within the Rio Grande in Mindanao, have been blamed for the clogging of the water system that caused flooding in Cotabato City and nearby areas.
TESDA initiated the trainers' training to transfer the technology and know-how in making productive use of the river's green menace.
"TESDA has a resource-based skills and livelihood training program that it is now employing to help the Cotabato residents who have been affected by the flood," TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said.
"Amid the calamity, we believe this training opportunity will give the people of Cotabato, especially those displaced by the flood, a ray of hope for livelihood opportunities to help them get back on their feet," he said.
During the five-day training, the local trainers will learn about newspaper bag weaving, waterlily bag weaving, making accessories from old magazine strips and knitted plastic sando bags.
The skills training of trainers will be conducted in communities where there are existing production or training facilities to minimize the cost of training and to ensure that would-be-trainers acquire the necessary skills to produce quality products which are ready for marketing, according to the TESDA chief.
"TESDA's intervention does not stop at the training, but goes all the way to facilitating post-training activities such as assessment and certification of the graduates so that they can avail of more permanent jobs in the future," Villanueva said.
TESDA has long been engaged in skills training using water hyacinths as raw materials, and is now bringing the technology to Mindanao.
The huge volume of the water hyacinths gathered from the river would serve as source of cheap and indigenous materials for production of items such as bags, slippers, mats and other accessories.

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