According to the Philippines Statistics Authority, the poverty headcount ratio in the Philippines was 25.8% in 2014 which places the Philippines amongst the world’s lower middle income countries.

Isuzu, as one of the leading manufacturers of vehicles and trucks in the Philippines, has long been at the heart of their corporate culture. In celebrating Isuzu’s 70th anniversary, Isuzu Motors has chosen the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Tacloban city of the Philippines as the beneficiary of its education of the children program, after considering how poverty has left millions of youths without proper education.

Strengthening the voice of Southeast Asia in the course of harmonizing technical standards and certification systems of automotive products in the world.

Isuzu-TESDA Auto Training Program in the Philippines, Tacloban



Under the “Isuzu Heart and Smile Project”, Isuzu has been committed to lowering the poverty ration in the Philippines. The program is held in collaboration with the TESDA of the Philippines and World Vision.

TESDA handles the building of schools and dormitories, school operations, identifying scholars and seeking job opportunities for them, while World Vision handles fund management.

Apart from the donation of funds and vehicles, as well as engines, Isuzu also supplies technical requirements essential to an automotive education course, such as training materials, program modules, practical training and skills enhancement training. Since then, Isuzu has been continuously providing financial support and sending its own engineers to train local trainers every year. This is to make sure local trainers receive up-to-date technology training so the program can be carried out in a sustainable manner.

The program, which provides 2 years of term training, is open to underprivileged youth, nationwide. Students are identified by TESDA and World Vision before they can qualify for the scholarships. The program will cover full support of living and education fees for the scholars, with all students housed in dormitories inside the training centre compound.

Scholars are also required to attain the national standard in auto mechanic training, of which there are four levels (NC1 to NC4) that each need to be completed in six months, over the course of 2 years.

According to Mr. Masaaki Okubo from Isuzu Motors Ltd, a total 149 scholars graduated between 2011 to 2015 (the 1st to 8th batch), and more than 90% of the graduates are now employed by industry partners.

Unfortunately, in November 2013, disaster struck the program. The training centre was damaged by super typhoon Yolanda (also known as Typhoon Haiyan). The typhoon ravaged the city and destroyed thousands of homes, with more than 7,000 lives lost. After the typhoon, all students were sent home to provide assistance to their families.

The typhoon may have destroyed the facilities of the training centre, however, it failed to crush the spirit of the TESDA, World Vision and Isuzu. After 15 months of working together, the centre reopened in February 2015 with all students returning. Joyously celebrating their success, the training centre also launched its new slogan: “Quality Training – Our Commitment, Brighter Future – Our Gift.”

As repayment to their school, Rey Bombita (Batch 1) and Roel Gocela (Batch 3) won the second place in the 9th Isuzu World Technical Competition in November 2014. It also came as no surprise that in November 2015, two former graduates from Batch 4, Ramie Monterola and Arman Bulahan won the prize of Isuzu World Technical Competition – Grand Prix. These have proven that the training centre has produced world class technicians for the nation. TESDA 8 Regional Director, Madam Cleta Omega said, “With the overwhelming results, Isuzu-TESDA auto-mechanic training centre has received over 500 applicants from Region 8 in the 12th term recruitment. However, to maintain the quality of students, and with limited facilities, we are only able to accept 18 students every term. Currently, the TESDA Auto-Mechanic Training Centre is the only training center of TESDA that provides automotive trainings at the NC3 and NC4 levels. We can help the trainers of other TESDA schools by letting them observe our trainings or we may consider holding trainings for them using our facilities, to help them upgrade their schools.”

One of the centre’s students, Sarah, spoke confidently about looking forward to her future. “We came here lacking knowledge on the automotive industry. Now, we’ve gained this knowledge and also self-discipline. It is such a great privilege for us to be trained here. I would like to thank those sponsoring us, and also the management for taking good care of us.”

Isuzu commits itself to continue to support the project in the future. The training centre will continue to nurture more generations of skilled worker in the automotive industry. This will help the country develop its human resources in order to contribute sustainability for long-term growth.


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