KANANGA, LEYTE – A fisherman’s son was the class valedictorian of batch 14 of the KEITECH Educational Foundation, Inc., as announced during the latter’s commencement exercises held in its Leyte campus located in Barangays Hiluctogan and Rizal, Kananga, Leyte, on Friday, June 30, 2023.

A total of 60 scholars graduated from Keitech, a 14-year-old training center that offers values-based technical and vocational education supported and operated by the First Generation-owned Energy Development Corporation (EDC).

The said class valedictorian is 22-year-old John Ferry Torreon of Brgy. Marvel, Isabel, Leyte who was emotional while delivering his valedictory address as he recalled his struggles, which began at an early age when his father died due to a heart attack while fishing in the middle of the sea.

According to Torreon, his mother could not sufficiently support their daily basic needs, so he worked as a construction worker and, a year later, applied as a janitor in PASAR.

In 2021, he tried his luck together with his friends at Keitech. The results were released on his birthday; all of his friends passed except him. This challenged him to apply again the following year, and to his surprise, he qualified and made it to the top 10 passers.

Torreon also expressed gratitude to Keitech for its impressive quality of training and the value formation of its staff.

In addition, he is also a recipient of the Oscar M. Lopez Award of Excellence, the Leadership Award, and the Service Award.

Accordingly, Keitech trainees only graduate upon completion of a rigid eight to nine months of in-campus skills training and three to four months of industry exposure with Keitech’s partners and sponsors in Leyte and Cebu City, such as PASAR, Primary Structures Corporation, Freq It Solutions, and TESDA.

Meanwhile, in his message, the President of KEITECH Leyte Campus, Atty. Allan V. Barcena was proud to share with those in attendance that the year 2022-2023 was a year of achievements for Keitech, and accordingly, in 2022, EDC, through Keitech, was recognized by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) as one of its outstanding private sector partners in its goal toward strengthening technical vocational education and training (TVET) among Filipinos.

Moreover, Keitech was also one of the winners in the Social Empowerment category of the 2022 Enterprise Asia’s Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards (AREA).

AREA recognizes and honors deserving Asian businesses for championing sustainable and responsible business practices in different categories.

Furthermore, this year, Keitech has been chosen as one of the finalists in the 2023 League of Corporate Foundations CSR Guild Awards under the Outstanding CSR Project in Education Category.

Meanwhile, Leyte 4th District Representative Richard I. Gomez, who was the commencement exercises guest speaker, thanked Keitech for bringing quality technical skills training to the Leyte 4th District.

Cong. Gomez also urged the graduates that, “As early as now, cultivate your love for our country. You may not know it, but you are already contributing in your own small way through the work that you do.”

This year’s graduation ceremony had the theme, “Shaping Lives through World-Class Skills and Purpose-Driven Values.”

To date, Keitech has already produced over 1,200 graduates and holds the record for having a consistent 100% national certification passing rate among its trainees. More than 90% of Keitech graduates are now gainfully employed. Keitech estimates a multiplier effect of more than 6,000 lives that have been touched, changed, and uplifted across more than 100 communities in EDC’s areas of operation.Also present at the said event were Erwin Magallanes (Keitech Administrator), Dir. Rolando Bade (TESDA-Leyte Provincial Director), Kananga Vice Mayor Miguel Jorge Tan, PASAR Foundation Executive Director Ruben Cajigas, and Department of Education (DepEd) Assistant Regional Director Ronelo Al Firmo. By Gwen Maurillo (EV Mail June 26-July 2, 2023 issue)