13 lady bus drivers to receive TESDA certification for competent driving

13 MAR 2011

Thirteen out of 21 lady bus drivers will receive their TESDA certification for competent driving after recently passing the assessment conducted by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

TESDA and MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) will award the successful lady bus drivers their Driving NC III National Certificate in a special ceremony on March 14, 8 a.m. at the MMMDA building in Makati City during the agency’s flag-raising  ceremony.

TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva will personally hand out to the ladies their certificates and congratulate them on their success.

“We’re very excited that these lady bus drivers will soon hit the road. They’ve undergone a rigorous and strict training and hurdled a tough test to earn their certifications,” Villanueva said.

“We know as well that some of  these ladies are mothers, which means they will be more responsible on the road because every mother thinks of the welfare of not only their children but the children of others. We’re very confident of their skills. We know they will make a huge contribution in keeping our roads safer for everyone,” he added.

50-year-old Rosemarie Ilagan, one of the 13 successful lady bus drivers, is very happy to have been given the opportunity to be employed once again. At her age, she knew that it will be hard to get a decent job enough to be able to support the education of her two children.

An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who worked for many years in Dubai as a private driver, she went back to the Philippines in 2009 to attend to a family problem.

“When I came back here, I knew it  was for good because I had to take care of my children.  I thought that I would have to find a job here to support my children who are still in school. It’s been hard because of my age, there are limits when applying for certain jobs,” she said.

“Then I heard about MMDA’s free training program for lady bus drivers. There is no age requirement for lady bus drivers so I thought of availing the program. I knew that a bus driver will earn enough to support her family because there are lots of commuters, especially in EDSA, who rides buses more” Ilagan said.

“I’m really thankful to TESDA and MMDA for the valuable training they gave me. I learned a lot of things that I only learned while taking the program. Things I did not even learn in Dubai while I was a driver. I learned not only about traffic regulations and trouble-shooting but also how to work as a team with your conductor and sometimes understand people’s behavior, so that you don’t lose your cool when you encounter an altercation with another motorist,” she said.

43-year-old Leonila Bathan is another OFW from Dubai who worked in the Arab nation for five years as a private driver. She said she’s very excited to have been chosen and awarded as a competent lady bus driver by the TESDA and MMDA.

She said she felt that as a Filipino, she has a social responsibility to keep the roads safe for  her kababayans, that’s why she decided to  undertake the agency’s free crash program for lady bus drivers.

Bathan said she was only going to spend a vacation in the country but decided to stay when she heard about  a horrible news about a truck and bus collision where many passengers died. She said she could do her part to make the roads safer because she’s more responsible and competent as a driver.

“You know, I’m always attuned to the news here and I feel sad every time I hear a bus ram a hapless car because drivers are reckless or lack skills. I thought if there were more lady bus drivers out there, people, particularly men, would be more careful on the road.  This has also been a blessing in disguise for me, I get to stay here in my country to be with my family because I now have a job here,” she said.

The ladies underwent a free crash program in bus driving last month which was jointly conducted by the TESDA and MMDA.

After undergoing the training program, they were given a test by the TESDA last February 23-25, which included written and performance tests which lasted two hours and ten minutes.

Aside from Ilagan and Bathan, the  following will also receive their TESDA certification this Monday: Kathleen Anne Mabagos, Edbeth Gan, Luzviminda Dumalag, Blesy Palisoc, Ferry Anne Alberto, Salve Canita, Janet Mendez, Pabriga Olivia, Ma.  Fresa Repomanta, Yolanda Blanco and Jennifer Javier.

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