Alsons Power Group, through its Sindangan Zambo-River Power Corporation (SZPC) and in collaboration with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Siayan Local Government Unit (LGU-Siayan), recently celebrated the graduation of 67 individuals from the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programs. The event took place within Brgy. Macasing, Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte.
Majority of the graduates are from the Subanen Group, an indigenous community native to Zamboanga, historically residing along riverbanks known as ‘suba’ and now settled in the mountains.
The implementation of the complimentary TVET courses in Siayan was driven by the area’s alarming poverty incidence. According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Zamboanga Peninsula, Siayan is one of the poorest towns of the region, registering a poverty magnitude of 84 percent.
Aligned with the local government’s efforts to alleviate poverty and uplift communities, Alsons Power, through SZPC, entered into a tri-partite agreement with the TESDA– Region IX and LGU-Siayan in 2022. This initiative aims to enhance the employability and entrepreneurial skills of the residents of Siayan, particularly those belonging to the indigenous communities.
Through the tri-partite agreement, 105 residents of Barangays Macasing, Diongan, and Pangi have already completed Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Carpentry, Masonry, Plumbing, and Construction Painting skills trainings and NC-2 assessments.
“This is our way of showing that WE POWER OUR COMMUNITIES WITH CARE,” said Alsons Power Vice President for Corporate Affairs Ruben G. Tungpalan.
“We care about your dreams and hopes, we care about powering them into reality,” he added. “Alsons Power will continue supporting the government’s inclusive growth strategies to reduce poverty and pole-vault impoverished families out of poverty.”
Rowena Villafranca, a single mother and one of the plumbing course graduates, thanked Alsons Power for “providing the bridge of opportunity to their underserved community.” She described the graduation as a dream come true and would shape a better future for her and her children.
In his message, Siayan Mayor Alberto J. Bongcawel urged the graduates to pursue excellence in their respective fields of expertise.
“Do not miss this chance,” Mayor Bongcawel remarked, “Let us repay our benefactors with the right attitude and values and become relevant in building our beloved Siayan into a more progressive town.”
Alsons Power’s SZPC is currently working on a hydroelectric power project with a capacity of up to 22 megawatts (MW) in Siayan. The project aims to meet the energy needs of several municipalities in Zamboanga del Norte, ensuring the provision of safe, reliable, and cost-effective power.