Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, May 08, 2009

SBMA holds livelihood seminars for laid off workers

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) announced it will hold a series of livelihood training seminars for those who lost their jobs as a result of the global economic downturn.

“Our target participants are workers and heads of families who have been displaced, or whose incomes have been severely reduced by the present economic slowdown. And we won’t be charging them for these. We just intend to help provide them with some new means of earning a living to cope with the crisis,” SBMA Chairman Feliciano Salonga said.

Salonga said they will be holding a series of seminars to educate displaced workers and unemployment residents on how to start micro businesses of their own.

The seminars which are being organized by the SBMA in cooperation with Sipag at Tiyaga Foundation, Divine Mercy Apostolate, Bataan Peninsula State University (BPSU), and the 132nd Squadron of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA), will be conducted for free.

The first training sessions, which were held at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center (SBECC), were conducted by technical experts from the BPSU and lasted for three hours each.

The training focused on candle making, as well as the production of powder detergent, dishwashing liquid, and fabric softener. Among the more than 350 participants who joined the first seminar were residents of the Nagyantok fishing community in barangay Cawag, Subic, Zambales.

The training was also attended by members of the SBMA Landfill Recyclers Association who were economically affected by the recent closure of the landfill in the Subic free port; Indigeneous people from Kanawan village in Morong and Pastolan village in Hermosa, both in Bataan; and members of the Pro-Poor Livelihood Project.

As was intended by the SBMA, the project was well received by the SBMA, the project was well received by the beneficiaries and community leaders in the Subic Bay area.

“Maganda itong proyekto ng SBMA, the nahihikayat ang lahat na magsimula ng negosyo mula sa maliit na puhunan, gaya ng candle making na mabiling-mabili
Para pangregalo o pang-dekorasyon. (This is a good project because everyone is encouraged to start a business using small capital like candle making which is very marketable as gift or for decoration),” said Laureano Artagame, chairman of Subic Municipal Federation of Aquatic Resource Management Committee (MFARC).

Luz Estandian, chairman of the SBMA Landfill Recyclers’ Association, lauded the SBMA fro coming up with a scheme to help participants earn while staying at home.

“Napakaganda ng ideyang ito. Marami sa mga miyembro naming ang hindinaman puwedeng magapply ng trabaho sa factory.

Dito, pwede kaming kumita kahit nasa bahay lang, (This is a good idea. Many of our members cannot apply for work in factories. Here, we can earn even at jome)” she said.

Last month, the SBMA also facilitated the grant of full scholarship to some 1,000 displaced workers from the Subic free port through the Pangulong Gloria Scholarship Program in cooperation with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

--By: Ma. Elisa P. Osorio – Philippine Star

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