Responding to the call to significantly contribute in rebuilding Marawi City- a predominantly Muslim City located in Northern Mindanao, Philippines which was caught in the middle of an armed conflict in 2017, the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC), in partnership with the Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST), German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI) and TÜV Rheinland Philippines Inc. officially launched the “Future Movers Program: an innovative VET ecosystem promoting increased and certain employability among youth IDPs in post-conflict Marawi” at the CPSC headquarters on February 18, 2020. It was attended by 58 invited guests from different organizations, schools and government agencies in the Philippines.

The project, with its catchphrase “BEST FOR MARAWI” is “an innovative take on building a VET ecosystem with an overall objective of increasing the employability and encouraging the empowerment among disadvantaged and vulnerable youths in post-conflict Marawi”.

The project will involve the cooperation of several sectors in order to achieve the proposed impact of “up-skilling” and “right-skilling” of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and youths by honing their capability to be employed while adopting a “modular approach to learning” with the aim of replicating the lessons in the future. The project is contracted by Enabel a Belgian Development Agency.

Dr. Ramhari Lamichhane, CPSC Director General, delivers his welcome remarks
Mr. Sreenivas Narayanan, Executive Director of ASSIST expounds about the project.

CPSC’s Director General Dr. Ramhari Lamichhane expressed his immense pleasure in welcoming the guests and officials from international organizations, the education, TVET, industry, and social development sectors. He cited TVET’s ability as a “master key” of development and public-private partnership as a way to unlock TVET’s potential to aid in the country’s socio-economic development. He also expressed CPSC’s commitment in delivering the outputs for the project and wished for a fruitful collaboration between all the partners involved.

Mr. Sreenivas Narayanan, Executive Director of ASSIST imparted the overview of the project, its benefits and the enthusiastic collaboration of the four partners and cooperation from among each partner’s network in varied sectors that will ensure that the future of efforts to rebuild Marawi will be secure for the future.

Highlighting the humanitarian backdrop of the post-conflict Marawi vis-à-vis sectoral and institutional efforts and support for the IDPs were following keynote speakers: Ms. Tarhata Mapandi, Regional Director of TESDA Region X (Northern Mindanao); Ms. Samira Gutoc, Marawi Civic Leader and Advocate of Peace; and Mr. Per Borjergeren from the Asian Development Bank.

Ms. Tarhata Mapandi, Regional Director of TESDA Region X (Northern Mindanao)
Ms. Samira Gutoc, Marawi Civic Leader and Advocate of Peace
Mr. Per Borjergeren from the Asian Development Bank.

Dr. Horacio Montefrio from the IETI College of Science and Technology shares his thoughts with the panel about the project.

Apart from sharing their ideas for the project during the open forum, the attendees also voiced out their full support and cheered encouraging words for the Future Movers team to successfully and genuinely reach out to the Marawi IDPs.

Mr. Tristan Loveres, Managing Director of TUV Rheinland Philippines, Inc. provides the Closing Remarks The same message was echoed by Mr. Koenraad du Pont, First Secretary of the Embassy of Belgium to the Philippines as he underscored the importance of inter-organizational cooperation in advancing economic development in disadvantaged areas around the world and the role that Enabel has played in this regard over the years. He also mentioned the role of vocational training in providing a “fastest way forward towards economic independence” and the potential of the Future Movers project to be a model of the benefits of public-private cooperation.

The closing remarks were delivered by Mr. Tristan Loveres, Managing Director of TUV Rheinland Philippines, Inc. He enjoined everyone to work hand in hand towards what is “BEST for Marawi” and also reiterated the commitment of his company in contributing towards the success of the project.

The project launch marks the successful cooperation among CPSC’s partners in Future Movers as it kicks off full planning and implementation of the project. The successful launching affirms CPSC’s continued commitment to its advocacy of placing TVET at the forefront of socio-economic development in the region by bringing back young people of conflict-torn Marawi to the fold as productive citizens of the society.

Guests at the project launch attentively listen to the speeches