(A TESDA success story . . .)
First of two parts
By Jimmy F. Matig-a
TUBIGON – Mayor Marlon R. Amila feels elated to learn that a good number of Tubigon TESDA graduates have earned a place under the sun in their chosen fields of training at the TESDA Training Center in Potohan, this town. A sterling example of a successful TESDA graduate in tailoring and dressmaking is the story of Antonio Cordova.
“I never would have made it as conveniently, were it not for my TESDA skills training”, thus retorted Tonyo, our featured subject in this success story, as he was interviewed for this purpose.
The early morning sun sees Tonyo every week day at his office at the garment factory where he works preparing himself for the daily routine job of administering and overseeing skills testing to a throng of sewing applicants for employment at his garment factory.
Tonyo was originally an assistant testing officer at the Metrowear Corp, a giant garment company of five thousand sewer employees at the MEZ in Lapu-lapu City. Hard work, perseverance and the will to overcome poverty served as the engine that fired him to find a way to achieve his target.
Tonyo is Antonio Cordova, a native of San Agustin, Sagbayan, Bohol. He was born on January 17, 1990 as a middle child in a family of six children to parents Pablo Cordova and Neria Cordova who are farmers.
Helped by his uncle and aunt, spouses Calixto Lantafe and Merlyn Lantafe of Cawayanan, Tubigon, Bohol, he completed high school as a working student at the Cawayanan National High School.
Back home in Sagbayan after his high school graduation, Tonyo busied himself helping his father make “amakan”, a walling or ceiling panel board made of interlaced bamboo slats. The ordeal earned him bruises, cuts and calloused hands and feet.
Fired with the determination to obtain the necessary technical expertise to get a good-paying and stable job, in spite of the financial obstacles of his parents to send him to college, Tonyo found help through his friends who had earlier finished a crash course in technical vocational education at Tubigon TESDA and consequently found employment. He grabbed the opportunity to enroll at TESDA – Tubigon Provincial Training Center, taking a course in Dressmaking NC II, as a TWSP scholar, earning him free training, provision of supplies and materials, as well as a Php60.00 per day allowance which he used later as pocket money while applying for a job at the Metrowear Corp. after graduation. In addition to his scholarship grant, Tonyo received the good graces of the TESDA administrators and training staff by permitting him to have free lodging at the TESDA building and providing him with free meals. To reciprocate the good graces given him by the TESDA personnel, Tonyo ran errands and did some chores for them.
“He deserved our assistance because we know he was a good boy and a diligent worker”, said the TESDA training officer.
A week after graduation at TESDA-Tubigon Provincial Training Center, Tonyo was employed as a sewing worker at Metrowear Corp. on December 7, 2009. Six months later, he became a regular employee of the Company with a daily wage/salary of Php267.00. In 2011, he was promoted to the position Assistant Testing Officer with a daily wage/salary of Php305.00, with all the fringe benefits due to a regular employee. Today he is already a full time testing officer in charge of supervising all sewer applicants and regular sewers. His pay cheque has also been equally raised. A testing officer is tasked with the responsibility to oversee the craftsmanship and skill of a sewer in the sewing of garments during the testing period. He determines who is to be hired based on the craftsmanship and time of work of the completed product.
Tonyo has this inspiring message to all high school graduates so similarly situated as himself before his TESDA experience: “Pursue a technical vocational course at TESDA . The world is now a spring of highly-paid labor employment opportunities for skilled workers”.
As the noted poet Ralph Waldo Emerson emphasized, “Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. . . Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your objective”. (With a report from Levy Yosoya, TESDA Training Instruction Supervisor / OIC – Tubigon TESDA Training Center). #