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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, January 25, 2016
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Villanueva promises to lobby
for sugar workers dependents

Former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Secretary, and now senatorial bet Joel Villanueva, said he will lobby for the support of sugar worker's dependents in Negros Island.

In a press presentation of the Shoot for Your Dreams basketball exhibition, yesterday, Villanueva said, “I will definitely lobby with the leadership of TESDA to cater to the children of sugar workers and farmers by providing their dependents direct access to trainings without necessarily being endorsed by land owner associations.”

By March, TESDA will launch 18 new mobile training centers in the country, through an agreement with PAGCOR to finance the program, said Villanueva, who signed the memorandum before stepping down as the agency's secretary.

Villanueva guaranteed that Negros will be one of the beneficiaries, with the children of sugar and farm workers in remote areas a priority.

In 2014, TESDA Negros Occidental launched a counterparting program with sugar worker associations, along with the expanded training for employment that brings trainings to the community, he said.

Villanueva also underscored that TESDA Negros Island Region produced almost 350,000 graduates in the past five years, the highest in history, with the employment rate increasing from 28 percent to 72 percent.

A “Shoot for Your Dreams” basketball exhibition, organized by the Association of Technical Institutions of Negros Occidental, Inc., was held at the STI-West Negros University.

Villanueva also said he supports Gilas Pilipinas in the 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament bid.

Two years ago, the first “Shoot for Your Dreams” basketball exhibition was held in Iloilo City, and has since been held in Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, and Manila among others. La union and Baguio City will host the exhibition in the following months, Villanueva said.*KBC



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