The creation of the Manpower Skills Training Program (MSTP), initiated by Honorable Josemarie L. Diaz, the then first councilor, is an innovative Technical Vocational project in partnership with TESDA-ISAT and TESDA-Isabela is a six-month course to develop vocational skills on a Saturday class with Out-of-School Youth of the City of Ilagan as primary beneficiaries. The then first councilor of Ilagan, now the City Mayor, Honorable Josemarie L. Diaz initiated MSTP project in 2001 in response to the mandate of Sangguniang Bayan Resolution as provided for in Article 3, Section 447 (5)(xi) of the Local Government Code of 1991 to “establish scholarship fund for poor but deserving students residing within the Municipality in school located within its jurisdiction.” Honorable Daiz, guided by the Chinese saying that giving a fish to an individual is feeding him for a day, but teaching an individual to fish is feeding him for the rest of his life, thus the existence of MSTP, a service-oriented project for 18 years now that continuously influencing Ilagueños from all walks to date as evidenced by the (100) present enrollment among women, TODA, JODA, teachers, senior high students and other sectors.

Background and Problem

The MSTP is designed to increase social participation of citizens through work and skill-oriented literacy education. Specifically, the program aims to:

  • Promote equal opportunity for all by extending education though this scholarship program.
  • Increase the manpower trained in vocational skills preparing them for gainful self-employment and critical industry needs.
  • Provision of worthwhile activity for the intended beneficiaries towards tangible or service-oriented projects in the community.
  • Development of moral values, life self-reliance, self-discipline, and incorporating the virtue of hard work.

Solution and Impact

The partnership of LGU-Ilagan and TESDA spanning the last four years, has produced 4,517 Ilagueño graduates, with NC I, NC II and NC lll holders, not only of OSY but teachers, government employees, women, TODA, JODA, fraternities, junior/senior high schools, bank employees, barangay health workers, barangay officials, day care workers, rescuers, barangay tanods, drug dependent, juvenile offenders or CICLs, organic practitioners and other sectors. The MSTP is an institutionalized program of the City Government by virtue of Resolution No. 092, approved on August 17, 2007. At present, we have an annual budget appropriation of Php 5 Million. To motivate our MSTP scholars, the City Government, aside from shouldering the assessment fees of all scholars, we have the “Hatid-Sundo” program where scholars’ vehicles – barangay elf, tricycles, single motors, jeepneys – are provided with gas/diesel allowances, as well as, food allowances for elf/jeepney drivers. In addition, initial materials for each qualification are also provided like gas for driving, welding rods for welding, liquified petroleum gas for baking et al.


Also, as an offshoot of MSTP, we have initiated in 2017, the BASTA-ECD or Barangay Based Skills Training for Functional Literacy Program – Engaging Communities for Development (BASTA-ECD) which caters to those who cannot come to TESDA but instead, TESDA goes to barangays, and/or other agencies concerned. This used to be conducted during weekdays in response to the beneficiaries’ availability. Women/mothers are taught skills on Puto, Kuchinta, Empanada, Siomai, Longganisa, Embutido and Tocino; Basic Life Support Training for TODA, Motorbikers, BDRRMC, and others. MSTP WAS GIVEN Plaque of Recognition (KABALIKAT Award) by TESDA for having equipped the enrollees with life-long learning for green living. Seeing the graduates with life-driven tasks that enabled others to access the same program in realizing the City’s dream that every Ilagueño must be gainfully employed.