"Our JobStarters in Tibiao have three things in common. All of them are dedicated, willing to learn, and punctual; most probably because of the interventions given to them before they were deployed to us," Aylin shared.

Together with his parents and eleven younger siblings, Joseph Marie Baltar, 25, lives on an island off of Northern Iloilo where electricity is a luxury. His dream is to buy a small solar panel so his little siblings would not have to literally burn their brows studying at night.

As the eldest child in the family, Joseph had been helping his parents on making ends meet for the family. He took it upon himself to go to college, knowing that greater opportunities are given to those with diplomas at hand. Their financial constraints however, deprived Joseph from studying Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering which poses a promise of a rather popular and lucrative profession as perceived by young males coming from low-income households. Joseph ended up studying Bachelor in Education but had to quit in his third year to find work. Unfortunately, he was not able to find any.

Thanks to JobStart, Joseph is currently undergoing his technical training at Tibiao Bakery and is receiving minimum wage for his allowance.

“I am very thankful to PESO JobStart because it [has given] me an opportunity to grow and learn new skills and the LST had taught me many practical things like savings, dealing with coworkers, and discipline,” Joseph said.

He added that he is enjoying his work and is very eager to learn how to operate all the machines in their production facility.

When asked about where he spent his first salary, he proudly shared that he sent half of it back to his family and kept the rest to give himself a treat and to save.

“I am planning to buy a solar panel so we don’t have to use torches and gas lamps during the night. Also, I want to save enough money so I can continue my education and get a diploma. I may even become a teacher someday,” he said.