First lineman training center in Mindanao opens

In a bid to address the shortage of qualified workers in the power industry, Davao Light and Power Co. (Davao Light), in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in Davao Region (TESDA XI), aims to develop skilled linemen through its first Basic Electrical Lineman’s Training Center in Mindanao or Project BELT.CoM.

Davao Light, an AboitizPower subsidiary, in partnership with the Aboitiz Foundation, formally turned over the facility to the TESDA XI in Davao Region last October 26, 2018.

“Project BELT.CoM or Basic Electrical Lineman Training Center of Mindanao is an illustration of a strong collaboration of the private and public sectors,” said Anton Mari Perdices of the AboitizPower Distribution Group during the turnover ceremony at the TESDA XI Regional Training Center in Davao City.

The training facility aims to increase the number of qualified linemen in the region as well as in the rest of Mindanao.

With the increasing demand for power entailing the construction of new transmission and distribution lines, the need for skilled linemen is already quite high in Davao City alone.

Perdices said they have seen the need to align with the Davao City government’s thrust toward sustainable development by contributing to one of its priority development areas, poverty alleviation.

Students using their new Electrical Installation and Maintenance (EIM) Laboratory housed at the TESDA XI Regional Training Center in Davao City.

“Allow me to extend my sincere appreciation to Davao Light and Power Company, Inc. and the Aboitiz Foundation Inc. for partnering with TESDA Region XI in establishing the new technical training facilities, with the Basic Electrical Lineman Center being the first of its kind. The new facilities will enable us to give better-quality training to those who wish to become certified linemen and certified electricians and professionalize the lineman training program in the region.” said Davao City Mayor Sara Z.  Duterte, who led the turnover ceremony of the Project BELT.CoM.

Also present to grace the event were TESDA OIC Director General and Secretary Rossana Urdaneta, TESDA Regional Director Engr. Lorenzo Macapili, Department of Energy Asst. Secretary Engr. Redentor Delola and Davao Light EVP and COO Engr. Rodger Velasco.

Among the components of the project is building and enhancing the capacity of TESDA to conduct its own lineman training programs.

TESDA has already professionalized and standardized its training program for linemen so that it can be used all over the country.

Furthermore, the project is seen to help produce skilled manpower for overseas work. Project BELT.CoM is expected to provide an alternative source of workers for all power distribution utilities, not just Davao Light.

On November 27, 2017, Davao Light and TESDA kicked off the pilot run for Project BELT.CoM where it initially produced eight certified linemen. These linemen received a National II certificate from TESDA, which means they have demonstrated competence in all aspects of their work.

Aside from Project BELT.CoM, Davao Light has also partnered with TESDA XI for the refurbishment of its Electrical Installation and Maintenance (EIM) laboratory, which aims to create a more conducive learning environment for electricians vying for the higher level NC III certification.