Scholars from TESDA's auto mechanic program

TESDA scholars graduate from Isuzu training program in Tacloban

Isuzu Philippines Corporation, fulfilling the objectives of its corporate social responsibility by uplifting the lives of the youth through free training and education, held on August 28 the graduation ceremonies of the 16th batch of the Isuzu-TESDA Auto Mechanic Training Program at the TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) Region 8 Training Center Compound in Barangay Abucay, Tacloban City, Leyte province.

On the same occasion, IPC and TESDA conducted the recognition ceremony for the 17th and 18th batches of the Program. The event also saw Isuzu Motors Limited Executive Officer Hirokazu Okubo taking over from IML Senior Counselor Yoshinori Ida, who oversaw the Program from its inception in 2008.

Since the vocational training program started in November 2008, it has seen IPC and TESDA collaborating to impact the lives of hundreds of disadvantaged youth. IPC has provided technical guidance and 100% of the funding needed for the project operation, while TESDA provides the training center, equipped with all the needed equipment, to implement the training programs up to National Certificate (NC) Levels III and IV. After the trainees’ graduation, both entities actively endorse these graduates to industry firms (preferably within the IPC network) that need highly skilled mechanics for permanent jobs.

The World Vision Development Foundation serves as the program partner and provides the link among the program candidates, IPC, and TESDA.

The Batch 16th graduates came up on stage to receive their certificates. The moment these youngsters receive their certificates have often been a highly emotional experience, as their parents–often clad in simple house clothes or borrowed dresses and slippers–tearfully embrace their sons or daughters, knowing that their lives have most likely turned for the better from then on.

This opening up of opportunities was reflected in the inspiring message of IPC President Hajime Koso when he addressed the 16th batch of graduates and Batch 17 and 18 trainees: “New quote.”

Koso added shining examples of past graduates’ achievements in the local and global automotive arena.

“In the prestigious Isuzu I-1 Grand Prix World Technical Competition in Japan that sees many countries participate in, Team Philippines has placed consistently in the top three since 2014. We were champions in 2015 and 2018.

During the day’s ceremonies, Mr. Koso also announced that another graduate of the program, Joeminel U. Cutchard, received the Medallion for Excellence and the Best of Nation recognition at the just-concluded 45th World Skills Competition held at the Kazan Expo International Exhibition Centre in Kazan, Russia. Cutchard also finished 15th out of 35 countries in the automobile technology category.

Mr. Okubo, addressing the students, their families, and guests, said, “The Philippines’ automotive industry is growing year by year, and the number of people who want to work in that industry is increasing, too. The competition to get jobs is getting tougher. But studying and graduating from this Program will increase the chances of finding a job in the industry. I see that you made the best choice when you decided to enter this school.

“We at Isuzu Motors, TESDA, and World Vision, are committed to making every effort to provide a good environment where students can concentrate on their studies with peace of mind. I will personally see that we continue to give the Program the full support, and continue what Mr. Ida started and strive to make it even better.”

With executives and officers of Isuzu Motors Limited from Japan, IPC, TESDA, and local government officials as witnesses, the graduating Batch 16 students as well as the upcoming Batch 17 and 18 trainees gathered together with their families to convey their gratitude for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Alejandro B. Paguio, Isuzu Automotive Dealership Inc Chief Operating Officer, in his own address to the graduates, stressed, “On behalf of the Isuzu-Ayala group, I wish all graduates success in the future. Isuzu Motors has put great importance on this project, because they believe in the skills and determination of every scholar that has been part of this program. Remember to return the favor by helping a co-student, helping a customer, and even extending your time to your loved ones. You must always be grateful to your parents, to your teachers, and to your community.”

Vivian A. Poblete, TESDA Region 8 Administrator, thanked representatives of IML. “This momentous event would not have been a success without your full support and presence, especially those who came all the way from Japan.”

Santos Godornes, World Vision Resource Development Director, paid tribute to the graduates’ parents.

“While we congratulate the graduates, I’d like to congratulate the parents. Seeing them marching in, with their arms wrapped around their children, that is a priceless moment. And it just shows the kind of support of the parents to our graduates, and I hope that will continue. You represent the many Filipino families that we need to raise from the clutches of poverty.”