ROXAS City ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ A mason from Jamindan, Capiz has been hailed as most outstanding mason in the country's construction industry.
Forty-three-year-old Rodante Andres bested 10 other masons from Luzon, Mindanao and other regions of the Visayas in the competition sponsored by Holcim Philippines in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Philippine Construction Association (PCA) and Association of Construction and Informal Workers (ACIW).
Andres is a farmer with five children. He underwent a training on masonry conducted by TESDA and ACIW in 2007 with zero knowledge about the trade. Later, he joined the laborers' pool for various infrastructure projects of their local government unit where he was able to hone his masonry skills.
His workmanship quality and good attitude won the nod of trainers from TESDA and ACIW. They endorsed him as candidate for the regional competition in Western Visayas in November 2008.
After winning the regional contest, he represented the region in the national level. His total prizes from both regional and national competitions reached P125,000 plus trophies.
As national winner, Andres also brought home a scholarship grant from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for his children and a certificate of achievement from ACIW and Holcim that entitled him to special membership privileges to the mutual aid and skills training program of said organizations. (PNA)