“Farming was the only thing we knew, and then now, we are electricians!” This is what Riel B. Baya-on shared during the awarding of scholars for the Out-of-school Youth (OSY) Training Program organized by Hedcor, an AboitizPower subsidiary, and Aboitiz Foundation.
Sharing the same sentiments is Rexon Dave G. Berial, another scholar from the program. Out of 20 scholars, these two trainees stood out from the rest for a special reason: the gift of second chances.
Riel and Rexon were originally not part of the scholarship. But, through their dedication– and with a stroke of luck, both were granted a second shot at the TESDA training program scholarship on Electrical Installation Maintenance NC II.
“I was already part of last year’s TESDA training for Automotive Servicing NC I sponsored by Hedcor, so the slots prioritized those who haven’t received them yet. However, someone backed out and I was offered to take his slot instead.” shared Riel.
Rexon, who was also part of last year’s TESDA training, volunteered himself after finding out that someone had opted out of the scholarship and that the barangay was looking for a replacement.
Counting themselves lucky, both recalled how Hedcor provided all the resources needed for a very holistic learning experience at TESDA’s Provincial Training Center in Valencia, Bukidnon.
“The training center and the accommodation facility was great! Materials needed for the classes were provided, the trainers taught us really well, and the experience was fun,” Riel shared. “Aside from receiving the training and accommodation for free, Hedcor also gave us a daily allowance so we were really well-provided,” Riel added.
More than receiving the scholarship for the second time, Riel and Rexon count the whole experience as a second chance at education.
“We couldn’t proceed to college because we don’t have enough money.” shared Rexon, adding that they opted not to pursue a degree because they had to help earn a living for their family. Aside from financial constraints, proximity to a college facility also proves to be a problem in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. “If it wasn’t for Hedcor, we wouldn’t get to learn all these.” Rexon shared.
“When I was young, no opportunities like these came to our barangay,” Riel said. “This is really a huge help for us, as we continue to earn for a living everyday. We hope that Hedcor gets blessed in their operations, especially in their activities here in Brgy. Santiago.”
Riel and Rexon, along with 18 other selected OSY scholars from Brgy. Guilang-Guilang and Brgy. Santiago in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon are now skilled in Electrical Installation upon the completion of their 25-day training.
TESDA representative and trainer Engr. Dodong Restificar shared further about the Electrical Installation Maintenance NC II training received by the OSY scholars. “The training they received actually underwent an upgrade. If you say electrical installation, that means basic house wiring. After upgrading the program, it now includes training for CCTV and fire alarm installation.”
While the training program is funded and organized by Hedcor and Aboitiz Foundation, its success can also be credited to the scholars who proved themselves worthy of the scholarship through their display of dedication and hard work.
Engeley Balutic, Hedcor’s CSR specialist and a local from Bukidnon, took the time to congratulate the scholars for finishing the training. She also reminded the scholars that the skills they earned are not for themselves alone but are to be shared with their community in Bukidnon.
“Do not forget to give back to your community, and to offer your skills to your community’s schools, churches, and other facilities.” said Engely, reiterating that the scholars wouldn’t be granted the opportunity if not for the endorsements and trust forwarded by their barangay officials and community.
Hedcor has always been active in conducting corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in their partner communities, putting emphasis on projects for education. In fact, one of Hedcor’s biggest CSR projects for 2018 focused on education through the construction of a brand new school building for Dalirig Elementary School in Bukidnon.
Advancing the community was made possible through the 73.3-MW Manolo Fortich Hydropower Plants, Hedcor’s biggest hydro facilities in the Mindanao region. Hedcor is a run-of-river hydropower arm of AboitizPower. It currently operates 21 plants across the country with a total generating capacity of 258.3 MW.