With Machine Operation Course (MOC) graduates Ronald Bastinga and Carlos Panesa working in Taiwan, their families in the Philippines are enjoying the benefits of a better life.
The renovated two-story residence of the Bastinga family in Pasong Tamo, Quezon City stands as a testament to Ronald Bastinga’s effort abroad. Since working in Taiwan last September 2018, he’s been sending his wife Marjorie enough money for the ongoing renovation aside from their daily expenses. Gone are the days of living under a leaky roof and sleeping in cramped quarters, now they even have a living room and bedroom on two separate floors.
“Our old house was just a straight room. The dining table, kitchen sink, and bedroom are just within reach, making it cramped,” narrated Marjorie.
“[Ronald] had a separate bedroom built upstairs. All in all, the renovation was on going for a month. We just work within our budget for the time being. The important thing is that we have a more comfortable bedroom,” she added.
Before enrolling at the Machine Operation Course (MOC), Ronald worked as a truck driver for a biscuit company while Marjorie worked as a merchandiser in a mall. Their jobs would only last until the end of their contracts without any chance of renewal of contract. Their salaries back then were just enough to last them for a month with barely any savings for a rainy day.
“Now, we’re able to save, and Ronald was able to send money to his parents who live in the province when they need financial assistance,” she said.
Ronald and another MOC graduate, Carlos Panesa are currently working in Taiwan as machinists for the National Aerospace Fastener Corporation (NAFCO). The factory which is based in Taoyuan makes fasteners for aircraft, electronics, and industrial machines. Both have a three-year contract with the company and with the possibility of renewal. Their exemplary show of skill and attitude has not gone unnoticed by their supervisors.
“They were recommended by Tzu Chi Philippines, they have good working attitude and are cooperative with others. Although we need to teach them more but I’m impressed with their ability to learn a lot about basic machine operation in such a short time.” remarked Qi Zhijie, NAFCO’s factory manager in an interview with DaAi TV.
Tzu Chi Philippines embarked on the Livelihood Training Program in 2017, it opened various training programs like BPO; Welding; Aircon & Refrigerator repairs; Sewing and Machine Operation Course (MOC) where they are taught on operating industrial machineries.
Despite Carlos’s insistence that she does not need to work, his wife Xyrus continue to make a living online. Having spent nine years working for minimum wage before, she can now afford to buy a laptop for her online business. Aside from that, her residence is filled to the brim with furniture they could not afford before.
“When he started [his studies] at Tzu Chi, I supported him and his dream of getting a permanent job. His old job as a salesman only lasted five months. He figured that if he enrolled into Tzu Chi’s program, he could work abroad,” narrated Xyrus.
Carlos accepts overtime work in Taiwan happily, keeping only enough for his basic needs and sending the rest back to his family. As a result, the house in Old Balara, Quezon City is considerably cozier than their old one in Pasong Tamo.
The transformations in the lives of these two families were possible with the opportunity Tzu Chi extended to participants of the Livelihood programs. This serves as an inspiration for those who are in pursuit of a better life.