TESDA-8 RD pays Keitech a visit, expresses support on plans to pursue OAP

TESDA-8 Regional Director Gamaliel B. Vicente, Jr. expressed full support towards Keitech Educational Foundation Inc.’s creation of the Organic Agriculture Program (OAP).


RD Vicente finally set foot on the grounds of Keitech last May 6, 2021, mainly to take a personal look at the foundation facilities and the campus in general.


The Keitech team had been looking forward to RD Vicente’s visit, and took it as the perfect opportunity to finally be able to showcase not only what Keitech has been offering through the years but also of what it has yet to offer in the future.

Keitech has continued to live up to its tagline of producing the “world’s greatest nation-builders”. Ever wonder what makes them claim such? Well, it’s because unlike any other TVIs, Kietech incorporates safety, discipline, and moral values in the workplace onto the training. Since 2009, Keitech has already produced over a thousand of graduates and is able to maintain a hundred percent passing rate from TESDA assessments. Over ninety percent (90%) of these graduates are employed – very true to its tagline, indeed.


But then came Covid-19. The pandemic has brought both the worst and the best for Keitech. It has reasonably brought a negative impact on the employment rate, affecting most especially those from the Tourism Sector. Many establishments were forced to reduce their manpower to fifty percent (50%) and some were even forced to shut down operations, causing unemployment to many. With unemployment comes hunger: not being able to meet the daily basic need to survive – food.


Realizing that the Covid19 pandemic will not be ending soon, Keitech is now seeking ways to address the occurring problem relating to food security and sufficiency, hence the sought for the creation of the Organic Agriculture Program (OAP).


Organic Agriculture (OA) as defined in Philippine Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 or RA 10068, is an agricultural production system that “promotes environmentally, socially and economically sound production of food; thus, refrains from the use of synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, livestock feed additives and genetically modified organisms.” OA promotes the use of organic materials such as crop residues, green manure, farmyard manure, composts, household wastes, etc. as a source of nutrients for crops.


Keitech’s OAP aims to promote, implement, and further develop the practice of OA in Kananga and neighboring municipalities towards a competitive and sustainable OA industry in the region. The program specifically envisions contributing to the municipality in terms of economic growth, health, and social justice by promoting farm productivity, food security, and sustainable livelihood for all.


The said program shall then be added on top of its registered qualifications, namely: Electrical Installation & Maintenance, Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Masonry, Scaffolding Works, Bread & Pastry Production, and Housekeeping.


With OAP, Keitech envisions to be an empowered and self-sustaining TVI in the future. Let it be known that Keitech is the only non-stock non-profit technical-vocational school in the region. Keitech is able to produce skilled workers with funds merely coming from the Energy Development Corporation through the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Department, PASAR Foundation, Inc., and the scholarship grants from TESDA. Pursuing the implementation of the OAP, Keitech hopes for it to create a great impact on its cost-cutting scheme. “Itong training na ‘to should produce money for Keitech. Soon, baka ito na ‘yong magpapakain ng mga trainees at staff dito. In addition, Keitech scholars will eventually apply their learnings gained here in Keitech to their own homes. And that would create a big change for sure,” said Mr. Santos E. Getalado (Head, OSA and HR Dept.)


RD Vicente then suggested that Agri-Tourism might be the best solution to address unemployment rate. “Farms have become good tourist attractions nowadays. Given that you have a very wide area here, feasible talaga ang OAP. So, what we’ll do, pagsamahin natin ang agriculture and tourism. With your OAP, maibabalik natin ang mataas na employment rate ng Keitech,” he said. He then gave Keitech the assurance that TESDA will allocate funds for the program. “I-pursue n’yo ang OAP, for sure mabibigyan ng budget ‘yan basta kumpleto lang sa requirements. We have the money. TESDA has the money. Keitech’s job is to justify its request for the fund,” added RD Vicente.


The planning and development for the OAP is now ongoing and in fact, the workshop and other facilities for this program are now under construction. A little trivia, Keitec’s total land area is about 8.7 ha and only 50% of which are being occupied, covering the dorms, admin building, oval, and the workshop area. Very soon, the other 50% will finally be put to good use.


Furthermore, Keitech still managed to produce one hundred seventy-five (175) graduates this year: twenty-eight (28) of which are from the in-campus training and one hundred forty-seven (147) are from the community-based training. Both trainings were conducted of course with strict implementation of Covid safety measures and protocols.


Keitech is now preparing for the Batch 13 training which is set to commence the second week of July this year. Keitech is expecting a hundred trainees, twenty (20) of which will come from PASAR.


Despite the negative impact that the pandemic has brought to Keitech, it never stopped this foundation from staying true to its mission and vision. “Kung sa TESDA, abot lahat: sa Keitech, abot ang mas sobra pa sa lahat,” said RD Vicente. The pandemic brought Keitech to a realization that nothing can stop this foundation from helping and reaching out to those in need. RD Vicente has personally witnessed this during his visit. Keitech surely made the visit worthwhile.