Philippines: 20 women workers finish shielded metal arc welding training

Twenty (20) women welders on 29 November have earned their National Certification 1 (NC1) after completing a Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) Training in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines.

The training was made possible through the efforts of BWI-affiliated National Union of Building and Construction Workers (NUBCW), in partnership with the province’s local government. The training ran for 23 days, which included theoretical discussions and practical exercises. 

The head of the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) of San Jose Del Monte, Perfecto Tagalog attended the women workers’ graduation event. He thanked the NUBCW, AWWCI, and BWI-Asia Pacific for bringing the project to their city and helping break stereotypes on women workers in the construction industry. 

Tagalog lauded the participation of a differently-abled person in the training, whom he said serves as an inspiration for other women workers . He said that the local government will ensure that it will give assistance to the graduates should they wish to look for jobs. 

Also in the event were AWWCI Secretary General Mary Ann Vargas and Santiago Nolla of NUBCW, who took turns in congratulating the women workers. Vargas praised the women workers for finishing the training despite the challenges imposed to them by the pandemic. Meanwhile, Nolla expressed satisfaction that the training contributed to narrowing down the gender gap in the construction industry. He extended his union’s appreciation to the Union to Union (UtoU) Women in Trades project and BWI for ensuring the success of the training. 

BWI said that the training “welded” several important objectives for women workers in the construction industry. “We would like to thank all the organisations for making this project possible. From giving education, opening work opportunities, to building groups and relationships, this project successfully welded a number of objectives,” BWI-AP Regional Education Officer Marlon Quesada remarked.

One of the event’s highlights was a message from woman welder Dianalie Patagan, who was the batch president of the trainees. She thanked the project for providing them new technical skills and a platform to meet new friends. “Before the training, we were strangers to one another. Now, we developed not only new skills, but also a special bond as women workers overcoming gender stereotypes. What men can do, women can do more,” Patagan said.