Behind every infrastructure are workers who sweat it out day in and day out just to ensure that these structures are completed and safe. Noel Ecinas is one of such workers

Noel, 49, lives in Brgy. Castanos Lejos, General Emilio Aguinaldo, Cavite.  He has four children but only earns Php2,500 monthly a construction worker.  It is not enough and he felt he needs to earn more for his family. But unfortunately, he does not have the required certification for construction workers. Thus, he decided to try his luck in another line work. In 2015, he began working as a security guard earning Php9,000 monthly.

Going back to his expertise

But for Noel, construction work is his first love. He is confident in doing such works as he knows the nitty-gritty of it. Thus, when there was an opportunity to return to this kind of work, he made sure he did not miss it.

“Noong nalaman ko po na magkakaroon ng training sa TESDA, hindi po talaga ako nagdalawang-isip na sumali dahil gusto ko pong magkaroon ng certificate at makapagtrabaho nang maayos,” he said.  

For 21 days, Noel and 13 other participants were trained in masonry and carpentry at St. Peregrine Institute (SPI) in Bacoor, Cavite, a partner institution of the DSWD under the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). Their training includes exams that would earn them a certification from the Technical Education and Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) for the said skills trainings.

“Masaya po kasi nakatapos po ako ng mga kursso. Meron po kami kahit paano ng pagkakataon na mabigyan ng mas maayos na hanap-buhay”, he happily shared.

Aside from his years of experience and skills, Noel now has two national certificates, the weapons he could use find a better job.

Fearless father in a risky job

In less than a week after the graduation, Noel was hired as a mason by the Danilo D. Tamayo Konstract, Inc. (DDTKI), a partner construction company of SPI.

Since June 2017, he is working on building a condominium in Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.

“Kumpara sa mga dati ko pong trabaho, napakalaking kaluwagan po nito sa aming pamilya. Pwede pa pong mag-OT pag gugustuhin kaya mas malaki po talaga ang sinesweldo ko dito,” he proudly shared.

Noel works extra hours to earn more for his family. Every month, he earns P 10,000 to P20,000, almost 8 times more than his previous salary as an seasonal construction worker in Cavite.

Aside from his salary, Noel now also enjoys having benefits such as Philhealth, SSS PAG-IBIG and 13-month pay, which he never had in many years of being a laborer.

“Mahalaga po sa akin ang benefits na aking natatanggap para po prepared po ako sa aking retirement,” he shared.

Reaping his sacrifices

Working far from home, Noel admits that he misses his family. But his desire to provide for his family pushes him to persevere and work hard in order to achieve what he and his wife aspire that is to prepare their children for their own future.

“Hindi ko hinahangad na magbigay sila ng pera o suportahan nila kami. Ang nais lang po naming mag-asawa ay mapaghandaan nila ang sarili nilang mga buhay, he said.

For now, Noel is slowly seeing the fruits of his sacrifices. His eldest child is now a college graduate and is already working.  He looks forward to the completion of studies of his other children.

As a participant of SLP, he also challenges participants like him to value the opportunity given to them by the program and its partner institutions.

“Kung hindi po magpupursige, mawawalan po ng halaga ang binigay na tulong. Hindi lahat nabibigyan ng pagkakataon na matulungan na magkaroon ng maayos na trabaho kaya hanggang kaya ko pa po, magtatrabaho po ako bilang construction worker”, he firmly stated. with reports from JTeaño