“I must have been on cloud nine after seeing my name ranking first from the list of topnotchers. God has blessed me with more than what I can imagine,” said an elated Engr. Juven G. Luzorata, Top 1 of the Agricultural and Biosystem Engineering Licensure Examinations and an intern under the Government Internship Program of the Department of Labor and Employment.

The 24-year old topnotcher is a graduate of Agricultural Engineering from the University of Southeastern Philippines. His internship started when his alma mater forged a partnership with DOLE XI and the Department of Agriculture XI for the GIP for Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Youth (DOLE-DA XI GIP for ABE Youth).

Juven shared how grateful he was for the experience as a government intern in the Regional Agricultural Engineering Division of DA XI and said, “My experience helped me to be acquainted with actual situations which are far different from a classroom setting. Our mentors never hesitated to impart practical knowledge to us.”

He mentioned that working as an intern in DA XI and preparing for the licensure examinations was challenging but he set his goals, measured his activity loads, and listened to his mentors in DA XI who are agricultural engineers. With his courage and determination, he still couldn’t believe it when the results came out and he topped the exams with a rating of 83.02%. Like he said, he was on cloud nine – a feeling which his fellow GIP for ABE Youth and a classmate in college also felt after seeing his name on the list of topnotchers of the October 2021 ABE licensure exams.

Engr. Yllor James A. Otero clinched the 4th spot, with a rating of 81.96%, after months of rigorous preparation and several postponement of exams due to the pandemic. Like Juven, he also managed to juggle between work and studies by arranging the right priorities and developing a study routine. The various site visits during his internship enabled him to visualize the theories on his textbooks and review materials. “DOLE-DA XI GIP for ABE Youth was the best experience and opportunity that I ever had. It took me into agricultural engineering work that I haven’t experienced during my stint in college,” Yllor James added.

It was on October 30, 2020 when a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between DOLE and DA was signed by Agriculture Secretary William Dar and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III that formalized the deployment of young agricultural and biosystems engineering graduates to participating DA agencies nationwide. The GIP for ABE Youth aspires to intensify the conveyance of agricultural and biosystems engineering services in the implementation of agri-fisheries mechanization, small scale irrigation and farm-to-market roads, post-harvest facilities, and other agri-fisheries infrastructure projects of the DA.

“During my internship, I was able to design, manage projects, communicate with recipients/farmers, and improve the lives of the beneficiaries. For me, these are the essence of being an Agricultural Engineer. I hope that the GIP will expand and cater more interns as there is a greater need for professionals and interns to improve the state of our agricultural sector of the country,” Juven shared.

Likewise, Yllor James expressed his gratitude to the program for empowering the ABE youth like him, “Thank you DOLE-GIP for giving us the opportunity and experiences that will surely help us grow and become the engineers that we want to be.”

Yllor James was among the first batch of DOLE-DA XI GIP for ABE Youth who interned from March to October 2021. Juven, on the other hand, belonged to the second batch who interned from August to December 2021. When asked about their next career move, the young engineers expressed their interest to be part of a workforce, especially in the government sector, that aims to generate innovation and technology for the nation’s food basket and to further develop their knowledge on their profession.

The Department of Labor and Employment XI took great pride in Juven and Yllor’s achievement. OIC-Regional Director Atty. Randolf C. Pensoy extended his congratulations to Juven, Yllor James, and their colleagues who passed the said examinations and said, “DOLE XI is proud of all of you. Thank you for your contributions as interns to your assigned agency. We are excited to see you bring these experiences and knowledge with you as you soar for greater heights.”

Other DOLE-DA XI GIP for ABE Youth who passed the Agricultural and Biosystem Engineering Licensure Examinations were Engr. Joan A. Payo, Engr. Mon Miguel Reyes, Engr. Diana Rose H. Jagolino, Engr. Gerald Hadji C. Ulangkaya, Engr. Kris Thea Entroliso, and Engr. Ken Lloyd F. Pabilan.

This momentous achievement of the DOLE-DA XI GIP for ABE Youth will serve as an inspiration to the office to continuously provide opportunities and relentlessly empower the youth in Davao Region through its programs such as the GIP.