Knauf Gypsum Philippines, Inc. and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office IV-A CALABARZON have signed an agreement to be partners in improving the skills and lives of the region’s construction workers. This partnership is in line with the vision of Republic Act 11310, otherwise known as “An Act Institutionalizing the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program,” to support Pantawid partner beneficiaries through the sharing of knowledge, experience, skills, and resources.
This partnership between Knauf and DSWD is both strategic and sustainable, having been anchored on the Kilos-Unlad Framework. The goal of this collaboration is to provide appropriate support services to partner beneficiaries, especially those who have graduated or have exited households. It is also another example of Knauf’s commitment to improving the livelihood of the country’s construction workers.
“Our main goal is to provide skills training for our 4Ps beneficiaries. This will be a community-based training, so we will pick among those who have skills and knows a little or are working in the construction industry or those who have experience. But now with this new partnership with Knauf anyone 18 and above who wants to learn and develop a skill can be trained,” said Mr. Mark Dewey Sergio, Knauf Gypsum Philippine’s Managing Director.
Together with DEG – Deutsche Investitions, one of Knauf’s investments is the Knauf Academy, a training center in Quezon City that has been providing gypsum board installation training to construction workers in the Philippines. Since its launch in June 2022, the Knauf Academy has trained nearly 800 workers on gypsum board installation and jointing skills, enabling them to improve their abilities and become more in-demand in the construction industry. The Knauf-DSWD partnership will help reach more construction workers in the country.
“For this project, it will be based on per area. So, whatever barangay is near the venue of the training, that’s where we will recruit the beneficiaries who will be our priority. We will find out who is easier to train—most likely those who already have experience, and then refer them for employment,” said Ms. Jenny Ronna Dimaculangan, DSWD Program Development Officer, City Link.
While the program will first focus on those with basic skills and experience, it will ultimately provide learning opportunities for all. It particular, it will give beneficiaries who have no prior knowledge or experience the chance to learn construction skills so they can find employment in this field.
“So, there are low-hanging fruits, and from there we will look at those who have less or no skills to assess their subsistence and survival. We will slowly build their skills. This will be a vehicle to build the level of their livelihood,” assured by Ms. Nellibeth Mercado, DSWD Division Chief, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
In CALABARZON alone, there are over 340,000 registered 4Ps beneficiaries, and that number is expected to increase after new beneficiaries are officially enrolled in the program later this year.
“The potential of this partnership to link our 4Ps with Knauf to help build people’s skills and give them employment to a level they will reach the self-sufficiency they want which is exciting,” Ms. Nellibeth Mercado added.
“This is in line with our national goal of alleviating poverty,” said Mr. Barry Chua, M.D. DSWD Regional Director. “We were able to see the principles of Knauf in enhancing the skills of the community, enhancing their ability for livelihood, and, at the same time, improving the lives of the people.”
Mr. Mark Dewey Sergio added: We’re just as excited. We believe this is the start. It’s a milestone. But we are more excited to get it going because that’s when it will make a real impact. That’s when the real change happens—when they are actually able to learn and be employed and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Knauf aims to build more training centers and deploy training vans around the country. The partnership with DSWD should enable Knauf to reach more people and train more than 45,000 construction workers in the next coming years.
To learn more about Knauf Gypsum Philippines Inc., check out their Facebook Page, Knauf Academy, or join their Facebook community group page—Samahang Knauf.