From Left: Dr. Maria Teresa M. Fajardo (USTP CDO Extension Director), Mr. Colbert G. Rabaya (Executive Dean, USTP Clustered Campuses); Ms. Leonor C. Mabagal (OIC-Regional Director, OWWA Region 10), Ms Rhona Z. Fahigal (OWWA Region 10 Supervising Administrative Officer), Ms Maria Liberty B. Doncillo (Campus Director, USTP Oroquieta Campus) and Mr. Richie James G. Uy (Head, Reintegration Unit OWWA Region 10).
University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines signed a memorandum of agreement last April 23, 2019 with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Region 10 for the conduct of various skills and livelihood trainings for returning and displaced overseas Filipino workers and their dependents. This collaboration was made possible by the efforts of Ms Maria Liberty B. Doncillo, the campus director of USTP Oroquieta and the Executive Dean of the USTP Clustered Campuses, Mr. Colbert G. Rabaya. This MOA is good for 3 years (until 2021) to pursue viable programs that will take off as livelihood projects and employment opportunities. .
This partnership aims to provide opportunities for OFWs to start their entrepreneurial activities to achieve quality life for the family. USTP provides trainings in culinary arts, handicraft, food processing, basic dressmaking, and bread and pastries among others, for those interested to pursue a business in the food sector. USTP has also the Northern Mindanao Food Innovation (NMFIC) Center provided by DOST to help aspiring food and food processing businesses in Northern Mindanao in terms of providing technical assistance in the areas of packaging and labelling needs, good manufacturing process & food safety training , and other technical advice on improving shelf life and quality of products. The NMFIC boasts of various equipment such vacuum fryer, spray dryer, vacuum packaging machine and other food processing equipment. There are also packaging machines invested by DTI that include a vertical granular form fill seal machine, shrink packaging machine, continuous band sealing machine and desktop cup sealing machine to better serve the food processors in the region.
USTP also offers skills training such as wiring installation, automotive, computer hardware servicing, electronics product assembly and servicing to name a few. OWWA plans to collaborate with USTP Cagayan de Oro and USTP Claveria in various projects under the reintegration program for the OFWS in order to make overseas employment a choice rather than a necessity. USTP and OWWA envision the OFWs to be self-reliant and able establish a viable business enterprise which will provide them with a stable source of income and maybe even create employment opportunities for other people in the region.
by: Maria Teresa M. Fajardo