Another batch of 1,100 underprivileged residents of Manila has completed the job-and-livelihood skills training program being offered by the city government, which Mayor Joseph Estrada said would help them find jobs or start their own businesses.
Estrada said he was elated by the graduation of 1,149 students of the Manila Manpower Development Center at Dapitan Sports Complex which took place just a few months after the recent batch of 1,833 students completed the same program.
“We are very pleased that more Manileños have successfully finished this skills training program. I’m hoping this will herald a better future for you and your family,” Estrada greeted the graduates in a message.
Slowly but surely, Estrada said his administration has been effectively licking the problem of high unemployment rate in the City of Manila. Citing a study of the University of the Philippines, Manila, he added, also has the highest incidence of poverty in the National Capital Region.
These are the reasons, he pointed out, that the City Hall is aggressive in implementing skills training programs through the MMDC, which has so far trained over 10,000 students since 2016.
“Unemployment and poverty are the greatest obstacles that hinder us from achieving continued economic progress. We have to seriously address these problems,” Estrada pointed out.
Under the supervision of the Manila Department of Social Welfare, MMDC offers poor Manileños free 20-day courses on various skills and programs such as Hotel and Restaurant Services, Massage Therapy, Barista, Cooking and Food Preservation, Baking, Beauty Care, Unisex Haircutting, Solar Nightlight Assembly, Garment Trade, Silkscreen, Fashion Jewelry Making, Curtain Making, Manicure/Pedicure, Beads Assembly, Throw Pillow Making, and Dressmaking.
MDSW chief Nanet Tanyag said all the graduates are automatically enrolled to the city government’s Capital Assistance Program that provides initial capital to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Since 2013 when Estrada put up CAP, thousands of indigenous Manileños who wanted to have their own businesses have been provided with a start-up capital of P5,000 to P10,000.
The program has produced standalone stores, food kiosks, and other backyard businesses, which provided extra income to the beneficiaries and helped with their day-to-day expenses.
In 2016, a total of 5,577 Manileños graduated from the MMDC’s short-term courses, at least 267 of whom immediately landed jobs related to the course they took such as Hotel and Restaurant Services, Massage Therapy and Barista, the top three courses with most number of enrollees and corresponding graduates every year.
Since January this year, at least 5,000 more graduated from MMDC.
A greater bulk of the graduates have put up their own small businesses, Tanyag added, noting that this is usually the goal of many enrollees of MMDC especially those who would take up Beauty Care, Unisex Haircutting and Manicure/Pedicure courses.
Every year, many enrollees to MMDC courses would come from the ranks of the out-of-school- youth, mothers and jobless individuals.
Apart from these regular courses, the MMDC also conducts one-day short courses in communities and for different groups such as barangays and neighborhood associations.
These short courses are: Perfume-Making, Dishwashing, Herbal Soap Making; Pandesal, Siomai and Noodles Making; Fabric Softener Making, Powder Detergent, Silkscreen, Liquid Bleach, Candle Making, Meat Processing (Ham), and Peanut Butter Making.