Tesda stamp eyed for CARD OFW grads

The graduates, their trainors and guests pose for the camera at the end of the event at Charitas Catholic Diocese Center.

By Vir B.Lumicao

Graduates of financial literacy, entrepreneurship and livelihood skills workshops offered by CARD OFW Hong Kong may be granted accreditation by the Technical Education and Skills Training Authority, or Tesda, in the near future.

CARD MRI in the Philippines is working on Tesda accreditation for its Hong Kong financial literacy modules and hopes to secure it, CARD OFW chair Rex Aguado announced at the graduation ceremony for nearly 300 participants on Oct 23.

The graduates, including volunteers at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office, burst into cheers at the Caritas Catholic Diocese auditorium at Aguado’s announcement.

“Ito ay makakatulong sa requirements kapag kayo ay mag-apply ng loans, ng trabaho. Magkakaroon na po kayo ng Tesda accreditation through your CARD MRI authorization,” he said.

CARD HK is also arranging for its graduates to be issued membership numbers so that when they return to the Philippines for reintegration, they would get priority at any CARD MRI branch they go to for transactions, Aguado said.

“So take care of your diploma and be very proud of that,” he said.

CARD HK vice chairman Alex Aquino told The SUN that there had been 1,999 graduates since the NGO started its financial literacy program for migrant Filipino workers began in Hong Kong five years ago.

On Sunday, the total number of graduates was 275, comprising 152 graduates in financial literacy, 98 in entrepreneurship and 25 in outreach.

Since January this year, there have been 383 financial literacy and 180 entrepreneurship graduates, for a total of 563. The 24% jump in the entrepreneurship figure reflects individuals in the financial literacy and outreach programs also joining the seminars.

“We have one more financial literacy seminar scheduled for this year, so the figures will still change,” said a CARD officer who provided the data.

The guest of honor and speaker at the event, Consul General Bernardita Catalla, congratulated the graduates for their perseverance and determination to undergo training courses such as those offered free by CARD MRI.

“Paulit-ulit kong sinasabi na importante ang ganitong mga proyekto…may diploma tayo at kailangan iyong mapapakinabangan natin in the near future,” ConGen Catalla said in her speech.

She wished that the graduates would become entrepreneurs in the future who would be able to provide work for themselves, their families and relatives, as well as members of the community. There are already some OFWs who have become successful entrepreneurs, like Myrna Padilla (a former domestic worker in Hong Kong who now owns her own IT company in Davao), she said.
The consul general stressed the importance of persevering and planning to achieve success.

Catalla also paid tribute to Edna Aquino, the founder of CARD OFW HK who had announced her retirement from CARD MRI. The consul general said Aquino had accomplished a very important work for which she deserved an award.

“Edna, maraming, maraming salamat dahil kung wala ka ay hindi mapapatnubayan at mapapalakas ang CARD MRI dito,” the consul general said.

Aquino and her husband Alex are now both based in Metro Manila but came to Hong Kong for the CARD OFW general assembly and graduation ceremony.

Despite her retirement from CARD OFW, Edna Aquino said she was doing some projects for a Belgian group involving farmers in the Philippines.

The next CARD OFW financial literacy workshop is scheduled for Nov 20. For reservation and inquiries, contact 95296392 and 54238196.