THE OLONGAPO STORY
Olongapo City had been the host to the US Naval Facilities in Subic Bay since 1901 after the Americans defeated the Spanish Armada in the Battle of Subic Bay.
Olongapo has struggled to develop under harsh circumstances that strengthened its people. It was the last piece of Philippine territory surrendered by the US to the country in 1950s. It rose from a “sin city” in the 1960s and 1970s to become a model city in the 1980s and 1990s.
It survived extreme political reversals, the withdrawal of the bases and the greatest volcanic eruption of the century.
In 1992, the facilities were turned over to the Philippine Government which converted the area into a Freeport Zone by virtue of RA 7227.
Devoid of funding, its people volunteered to protect and preserve the facility, the resulting culture of volunteerism built a hardy and resilient people that remains Olongapo’s most enduring resource.
The skilled manpower requirement created by the freeport was immediately addressed by establishing the Olongapo City Technical Education Center (OCTEC) in coordination with TESDA. OCTEC was converted into a community college in 1999 and is now known as Gordon College.
VISION: Olongapo City is a natural free port, a traditional window of the Philippines to the world, which will be Fast, Friendly, Flexible, Forward-looking, and distinctly Filipino in character.
MISSION: It will be the First full-pledged free port City in the Philippines. It will act as an ENTREPOT, a warehouse, a center for trade, a transhipment point and a marketplace for the adjoining provinces, the Central Luzon areas and the Southeast Asia Region – an easy place to do trade and business
GOALS: To grow service industries, communications, information technology, banking and finance, professional trades, tourism and shipbuilding.
To build a strong support system and strengten manufacturing capabilities and educational, technical, research and development facilities.
The entry of shipbuilding giant HANJIN and return of floating drydocks in the Ship Repair Facilities prompted Olongapo City to establish the Olongapo City Skills Training Center.
Resolution Number 69 series of 2006 was passed Approving the Skills Training Program as a Priority Project of Olongapo City. (Annex A)
This was followed by series of Ordinances, Resolutions, Correspondence, Memorandum of Agreements (MOA) and Executive Orders (EO) to ensure success of the project:
Ordinance 23 s 2006 – Appropriating PHP 500,000.00 in the Skills Training Program
Ordinance 52 s 2006 – Appropriating additional PHP 500,000.00 in the Skills Training Program (Annex C)
Ordinance 32 s 2007 – Appropriating PHP 300,000.00 in the Skills Training Program
BAGUMBAYAN – SIGUE Foundation fund assistance PHP 50,000.00
UNFPA Fund Assistance PHP 100,000.00
PGMA Scholarship for Work SMAW NC II – 75 scholars = PHP 750,000.00
PGMA Scholarship for Work - Call Center Agent Finishing Course
– 75 scholars = PHP 375,000.00 fwd to TVETs
FEDEX phase-out, skills upgrading project – 15 beneficiaries = PHP 150,000.00
Funding from Mayor’s Office for honorarium of trainors = PHP1.44M for 3 yrs
Letter dtd 5 Sep 2007 – Inclusion of Skills Training Budget in 2008 Executive Budget
TOTAL AMOUNT USED FOR TRAINING: PHP 4,165,000.00
* Above amount is from 2006 to present only, funds used since the creation of Olongapo City Technical Education Center (OCTEC) in 1992 which runs into millions of pesos is not reflected in the amount indicated above.
As per latest report of the projects’ accomplishment: 6,651 completed the Shipbuilding Orientation, 4,701 completed SMAW, 285 in SMAW NCII, 525 in FCAW, 4,092 in Career Workshop and Value Formation and 429 in Computer Courses. (Annex H)
From our graduates, 4,092 are now working at Hanjin Shipbuilding Project, 250 at Hanjin Facility Development, 390 at other Freeport Locators and 150 deployed overseas.
A Human Resource Tracking System is being utilized to come up with a real-time and updated status of the City’s Skills Training Program. This is another basis for the beneficiaries’ to avail of the City’s continuous provision of scholarship. The software makes effective the Job Placement Assistance Program of the City (Annex I) on top of the regular Public Employment Service Office of the City.
The Gordon College Board of Trustees in Resolution 29 series of 2007 Approves the Offering of Associate in Shipbuilding Technology Course aimed at giving the Skills Training Graduates a clear career path and qualify for supervisory and managerial positions in the shipyard. (Annex J)
CITY DONATIONS TO THE PROJECT
Aside from appropriating generous amount to the project, additional donations in king was given such as but not limited to welding and personal protective equipments (Annex K), Skills training van (Annex L), automatic cutting machine (Annex M), skills training venues (Annexes N, O, P, Q, R, S, T)
More than 6,651 benefited from the project with maximum number of continuous supprt.
The three on-going Barangay Computer Learning Centers and the Computer Van Aralan recieves continuous Technical Assistance in terms of computer repairs, consultancy service, placement assistance and most specially moral support from the city. The city also extends support to other municipalities and provinces such as San Antonio, Botolan, San Narciso in Zambales, including those provinces from Mindanao where Hanjin will build its next shipyard.
Additional support from the Sanguniang Panlungsod are thru resolutions and ordinances ensuring the success of the training program such as:
Resolution 70 s 2006 – Authorizing Mayor Gordon to enter into MOA with TESDA for the Skills Training Program. (Annex U)
MOA with TESDA – 19 April 2006 – Implementation of Manpower Development Program (Annex V)
Resolution 88 s 2006 – Ratifying MOA with TESDA regarding Skills Training Program
GC BOT Resolution 17 s 2006 – Implementing the Special Training Program on Welding at Gordon College (Annex X)
GC BOT Resolution 22 s 2006 – Approving the Skills Training Center and Creating a Special Account for the Welding Program (Annex Y)
Certificate of TVET Program Registration, – WTR 0603072355 Dec 7, 2006 – SMAW NC II (Annex Z)
As part of its Social Responsibility, the training center conducts regular seminars on Positive Work Values and Career Workshops. It also gives services to the community such as Repairs to Metal Bridges, Mobile Checkpoints, fences, public market canopies and other Shop Maintenance as requested. The students join in the regular River and Shoreline Clean-up to emphasize the importance of being concerned with the environment.
EO 103 s 2006 – Designating JLGM Hospital as Health & Medical Services Provider of the Skills Training Program. This ensures that Health, Medical requirements and Safety of the trainees is being taken cared of. In collaboration with UNFPA, a module was created specifically for the health and gender sensitivity of workers. (Annex N)
Continous Linkages with partner organizations ensure sustainability of the city’s Skills Training Programs:
Resolution 218 s 2006 – Requesting SBMA to donate materials for Skills Training Program
Resolution 174 s 2006 – Authorizing Mayor Gordon to enter into MOA with TESDA and HANJIN (HHIC-Phils) for the Skills Training Program (Annex AC)
Resolution 124 s 2006 – Authorizing Mayor Gordon to enter into MOA with WBB for use of facilities for Skills Training Program
MOA with WBB – 5 July 2006 – Use of Multi-purpose building for Skills Training Program
Resolution 49 s 2008 – Authorizing Mayor Gordon to enter into MOA with TESDA for the Mobile Skills Training Project (Annex AD, AE)
MOA with TESDA – 14 April 2008 – Mobile Skills Training Van (Welding / Computer Courses) (Annex AF)
Resolution 55 s 2008 – Ratifying MOA with TESDA regarding the Mobile Skills Training Project (Annex AG)
MOA with AI-HU Foundation regarding the Computer Van Aralan Project dtd 26 March 2008 (Annex AH)
Resolution 47 s 2008 – Ratifying MOA with AI-HU Foundation regarding the Computer Van Aralan Project (Annex AI)
List of Government Employees who benefitted from the Summer Courses on MS Office Productivity Tools, Photoshop, Basic Networking, PHP and MySQL Web Development
Means of Promotion and Advocacy:
Regular schedule of Barangay Skills Training and Employment Orientation is being conducted. This in addition to press releases, internet promotions, radio and television interviews. Flyers and barkers are being utilized in conjunction with the Mayor’s regular jogging inspections and barangay consultations.
The websites maintained by the city including www.jobs.subicbay.ph, http://olongapo-subic.com, http://olongapo-subic-welders.blogspot.com commands widest coverage thus job seekers from other provinces are enrolling at the Olongapo Skills Training Center (Annex AL).
Each of the Trainors in this training facility have more than twenty years of experience in shipyards both local and overseas, the combined talent of this training team plus the support of the City’s Leadership and its contituents makes it the organization to beat. (Annex AM)