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Coca-Cola Ph visits TESDA for STAR program


February 15, 2019

Top officials of Coca-Cola Philippines paid a courtesy visit to TESDA Director General, Sec. Isidro S. Lapeña, at the agency’s Central Office in Taguig City last February 13.

Coca-Cola Philippines General Manager Carl Elwin Everhart was accompanied by the company’s Director for Public Affairs and Communications Jonah de Lumen-Pernia, and Sustainability Manager Joy Munsayac-Cacal.

Discussed during the meeting were the accomplishments and the current status of the ongoing partnership between the two organizations, the Sari-sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) Program for women entrepreneurs that started in 2011.

Coca-cola  Philippines also plans to digitize the modules from TESDA to expand their reach not only to micro-retailers but to other stakeholders including farmers and artisans. 

Secretary Lapeña noted that since the STAR Program is a very good initiative, they should “level it up" to be able to reach various sectors. 

Both organizations believe that through training and knowledge dissemination of entrepreneurship and business management, they can help women achieve their optimum economic capabilities and overcome their gender-sensitive economic challenges.

As of this year, the program has produced a total of 150,000 graduates and 463 trainer facilitators in the country, close to the 2020 target of 200,000 women micro-retailer graduates.   Coke also reported a 12 per cent increase in the profits of most STAR Program graduates in the past eight years.

Also present during the meeting were TESDA Deputy Director General for Partnerships and Linkages Rebecca J. Calzado, Partnerships and Linkages Office (PLO) Executive Director Luz Victoria G. Amponin, and PLO officials Ma. Bernadette O. Refuerzo and Cecilia G. Olfindo.