After the completion of its building construction, the trainees who belong to the Persons with Disability (PWD) sector and the staff of Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center II (AVRC II) moved to its new and improved facility.

The new facility includes the staff’s office and the training rooms. Parts of the improvement of the AVRC II are the main drainage, road network, electrical system of the compound, storage building, guardhouse, canteen, front gate canopy, and water pump.

The newly constructed AVRC II located in Barangay Labangon, Cebu City.

Ms. Florita Dabon, senior manpower development officer, said that after operating for forty-five years, the AVRC II has now improved its facilities. With this, the center could now cater to the growing needs of the PWD trainees.

“The old AVRC II building was a silent witness of the many success stories of our trainees. I also have profound memories like my interaction with my former supervisors who guided and mentored me, and also with my co-staff who helped me along the way,” said Dabon.

The AVRC II is a non-residential facility of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in region 7. It was established on September 30, 1974, by virtue of Republic Act 1179 of 1954 and Republic Act 2615 of 1959. It mandated the DSWD to establish vocational rehabilitation centers to serve the PWDs.

It caters to those who have impairments in their vision, hearing, speech, mobility, and other forms of physical, mental and social impairment. Considered are those aged 18-59 years old, willing to acquire vocational skills, and eventually find decent employment and other income-generating activities.

The 840 square meter building is located in Barangay Labangon, Cebu City.

The AVRC II caters to clients from the Visayas regions – Regions 6, 7 and 8. The other AVRCs are located in regions 1 for Luzon, 9 for Mindanao and Quezon City for the National Capital Region (NCR).

The vocational center provides various courses ranging from Commercial Arts and Crafts, Massage Therapy, Dress and Apparel Technology, Commercial Cooking, Consumer Electronics, Housekeeping, Furniture and Cabinet Making, Computer Technology, and Basic Cosmetology.

Aside from the training courses offered, the AVRC II also provides social adjustment services, psychological and vocational guidance services, vocational placement services, medical and dental services, prosthesis services and in-house physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech language pathology services.

“After 45 years, the AVRC II has changed for the better, and this would help elevate the standards of instruction of our teachers and this would provide a conducive learning environment to our PWD trainees,” added Dabon.

As the one who oversees the day to day instruction, Dabon underscored the importance of having a good and proper physical environment in order to improve the learning of the trainees.

According to Dabon, the new building complies with the accessibility law. Its spaces are user-friendly for everyone, especially for the PWD trainees who use wheelchairs, canes and other mobility devices.

The new building is equipped with barrier-free facilities and features. The ramps, handrails, tactiles, braille signs and graphic signs are conspicuously installed in every access from the entry point to the connecting destination.

AVRC II staff demonstrates the proper technique in doing massage therapy.

Glenn Tuñacao, an active trainee, expressed “Dako akong pasalamat nga gipanindot ang AVRC II kay mas komportable na kini sa amoa nga mag-training diri (I am grateful for the improvement of the AVRC because it is more comfortable for us who undergo trainings here).”

Daghan kong nakat-onan sa AVRC, dili lang sa kung unsay sakto nga pagmasahe, apil pud ang pag-develop sa imong kinaiya o character building (I have learned a lot in AVRC, not only on how to properly massage but also developing one’s character or character building),” proudly said Glenn, who hails from Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

Despite being visually-impaired, Glenn is determined to achieve his dream in life. He enrolled in the Massage Therapy course.

Ganahan ko mahimong inspirasyon sa ubang mga PWDs labi na kadtong naa ra sa ilang mga balay og dili maka-eskwela (I want to inspire other PWDs, especially those who are just in their homes and cannot go to school),” added Glenn.

Presently, because of the pandemic, there are only 28 active trainees enrolled in the different courses. The AVRC II will have to prepare for the next batch of trainees under the new normal setting. ###

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