At 8’oclock in the morning of April 20, 2009, I visited the Eskwela de los Mataderos and met Dr. Arnulfo Quitoriano, the Administrator of the Vigan City Slaughterhouse. Surprised that there were no students, I was informed that laboratory classes are held at the slaughter house from 1 AM to 5 AM and lectures at 8 AM to 12 noon at the Vigan Culture and Trade Center under Darius Martinez, the instructor.
Birth of Eskwela de los Mataderos
How was the school conceived? According to Darius Martinez, Planning and Development Officer of Vigan City, then Mayor Ferdinand Medina, the husband of incumbent Mayor Eva Marie S. Medina asked him what can be done for the Out-of-school- youths (OSYs) and underemployed BigueÃ±os fathers?
While surfing in the internet, Darius saw the need for butchers. He made a feasibility study then presented it to Mayor Medina who approved the program. Considered the first of its kind to be offered by a Local Government Unit in the Philippines, this pioneer program is also one of the most successful programs of the LGU.
Pangulong Gloria Scholarship
The program is under the Pangulong Gloria Scholarship. Students must meet the following requirements: married, between the ages 25-39 years old; maximum of 3 children; physically and mentally fit; at least High School graduate; and has no deregulatory records. Those qualified are granted P21, 000 which covers the tuition fees and P60 daily allowance. The money is placed under the trust fund of the school.
The TESDA curriculum is professionalized with a SKILLS Test administered after the 35 training days held Mondays through Fridays. Passing the examination makes the graduate an international licensed butcher.
Believe as a parent that God has an incredible plan for your child
Darius Martinez, the planner of the program and instructor since March 23, 2007 was born at Abra. A graduate of AB Philosophy from the University of Santo Tomas, he was at 3rd year Theology course at a seminary in Tagaytay when he discerned that the priesthood is not for him and married Juanita Guzman of Pantay, Fatima and now blessed with four girls. He underwent a Trainor’s Training on slaughtering operations at the Animal Products Development Center at Marulas, Valenzuela. He has a passion for teaching and is happy for the 172 graduates. Thirty two are now employed abroad in different countries with the assistance of the POEA special recruitment agency charging a P35, 000 as processing fee. In return the graduates gainfully employed abroad are paying back the government through their remittances to the Philippines.
In a survey conducted with the on-going class for this Year 2009, it is apparent that poverty is not a hindrance to success. They all have something in common which is to leave it behind. They have their dreams to succeed. Their decision to take their life to a higher level is not winning in a lottery or the popular television game shows. They dream to make use of what God gives to each one of us. God gives us what we need-skills and talents; support from family and friends; and technology to create miracles in our lives.
The school is open to other places, and of the present 27 enrollees there are those who came from La Union and Ilocos Norte. Vigan City and San Juan of Ilocos Sur have the most students. Majority has heard about the program through the radio; others had relatives who were graduates; and the rest learned it from their mayors. The students who are mostly in their 30’s find excitement in their classes. They find the classes very interesting and challenging for they learn to express themselves in English; 85% are hopeful that their license would give them the opportunity to travel and find employment abroad to provide for the future of their children and assist their parents.
2 Women in Batch V1 of Year 2008
In the April 15, 2009 graduation exercises, Mr. Bernard Abaya ,Class representative of the 30 graduates which included two ladies Cherry de la Cruz and Rowena Ong expressed their gratitude for the PGScholarship and promised to be honest and hardworking for themselves and their families which will bring honor to our country.
Batch V of Year 2008
On January 30, 2009, Jesus Emmanuel Benzon, who represented the Batch V 2008 Eskwela de los Mataderos graduation held at the Vigan Culture and Trade Center expressed their heartfelt gratitude to Mayor Eva Marie S. Medina, TESDA Director General Boboy Sijico, and Regional Director Washington Agustin, and Provincial Director Mrs. Gemma Rendon and to the Eskwela De los Mataderos trainors.
Benzon quoted the saying, “Every ending is a new beginning!” Graduation marks the end of their training at Eskwela De los Mataderos but the beginning of looking for employment. For those dreaming for work abroad, their energies will be spent in preparing for the needed papers and documents.
Mr. Martinez mentioned two graduates who are now both employed at Alberta, Canada. Jo Mar Ragsac is employed at Lakeside Packers and Andres Pacubas is connected with the Cargille Meat Solutions. Part ll of this article will be on the sharing of the families who have now realized their dream of working abroad. We will hear from the side of the families left behind the fruits of the Eskwela de los Mataderos, a brainchild of Mayor Ferdinand Medina and continued by Mayor Eva Marie S. Medina and supported by the Pangulong Gloria Scholarship.