A free six-month training for basic masonry will be offered by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte’s Task Force Trabaho to at least 30 Ilocano youth starting July this year in Paoay town.
The PGIN Communications and Media Office said the program is in partnership with the Mariano Marcos State University and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts as well as the Escuela Taller, a school established by a Spanish agency that teaches trades within the construction industry that will help in the restoration of built heritage sites in the Philippines.
“Each trainee will be given an initial daily allowance of Php 150.00 and PGIN is planning to provide additional assistance such as free board and lodging to out-of-school youth, aged 17 to 24 years old,” the CMO said.
Masonry, the building of structures from individual units laid in and bound together by mortar, is a highly durable form of construction and is in demand in Manila and abroad.
The free training will focus on restoration particularly of heritage sites including buildings, museums and churches.
“After the program, the trainees will be hired for the restoration projects of the various heritage sites in the province. They can also use the skills, which are very in demand, if they wish to work outside the province and even abroad,” the CMO added.
Aside from its aim of providing additional job opportunities, the program is also in line with PGIN’s vision to further strengthen the promotion of Ilocos Norte as a top tourist destination.
One of the most visited sites in Ilocos Norte is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Paoay Church renowned for its distinct architecture with the enormous buttresses on its sides and back.
In her State of the Province Address last year, Governor Imee Marcos highlighted that in Ilocos Norte, culture sells and has become a livelihood rather than leisure to the locals.
“People come to see this special culture that is unique and different from anything else from the world… We must urgently put in place a cultural strategy not merely to protect heritage sites and museums, but to promote art galleries and spaces, endow the schools of architecture, design, literature, gastronomy, and renew vanishing indigenous cultures,” Gov. Marcos said.—Jennifer T. Pambid, PGIN-CMO