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Skills training for kin of SAF 44

/ 05:28 AM February 05, 2015

MANILA, Philippines–The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) will give free skills training to the families—considered to be “the quiet casualties of war”—of the 44 police commandos who were massacred by Muslim rebels in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, on Jan. 25.

The technical-vocational education and training (TVET) scholarships in the agency’s different programs will not just be for the relatives of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) heroes but also for the families of the wounded SAF commandos, said Tesda director general Joel Villanueva.

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“The nation is grateful for the sacrifices of our troops. These scholarships for free technical-vocational education will be a lasting tribute to their (SAF men’s) bravery and sacrifice,” Villanueva said in a statement.

“The people left without a father, husband, son, friend, they are the quiet casualties of war… Giving educational assistance to the families of the SAF commandos will help them for the rest of their lives,” he said.

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The scholarships will be given to qualified dependents of the 44 SAF men under the government’s social services program. The dependents of SAF personnel who were wounded in the line of duty can also avail themselves of free TVET.

The scholarships are being extended by Tesda on orders of President Aquino who personally spoke to the grieving families at the Jan. 30 necrological services for the slain commandos.

“The President assured them that alongside efforts to give them justice, the government will also make available the assistance they deserve,” Villanueva said.

He directed officials of the agency’s provincial and district offices to get in touch with the 44 SAF men’s dependents for the scholarships in any of the available programs, including the Training-for-Work Scholarship Program (TWSP); the Private Education Student Financial Assistance (Pesfa); and the Special Training for Employment Program (STEP).

The TWSP is aimed at filling skill gaps and job requirements in priority industries and sectors with high employability rates, particularly in agri-fishery, agri-business or agro-industrial; tourism; information technology-business process management; semiconductor and electronics; automotives; general infrastructure; manufacturing; logistics; as well as in new and emerging sectors.

Pesfa is a program extending financial assistance to students in tech-voc courses who are given free training, allowances and competency assessment after graduation at no cost to enable them to secure national certificates.

STEP is a community-based specialty training program to address the specific needs of communities and promote employment, particularly through entrepreneurial, self-employment and service-oriented activities.

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TAGS: MILF, Police, SAF 44, skills training, Special Action Force (SAF), Tesda
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