(Metro Manila, Philippines) Rhyan John Padacio knew ever since that his ultimate goal in life was to own and build a successful restaurant. That’s why when he had a chance to shift from his first off-the-beaten-track college program to his most desirable course, he didn’t let himself miss it.

Rhyan is a 24-year-old son of Rodolfo Padacio who was a bus driver and a former member of a bus company group in the country—TAS Trans Workers’ Association. Through his father, he applied and was accepted as one of the beneficiaries of the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Isabelo Delos Reyes Scholarship – Workers’ Organization Development Program (IDR-WODP).

He shared that his first college program was actually a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT). However, since he knew that this was far from his ultimate goal— owning and managing a restaurant with lots of branches, he shifted to a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management (BS-HRM) at Our Lady of Assumption College of Laguna, Inc.

Rhyan John Padacio (right) with DOLE-NCR MUNTAPARLAS Field Office Director Leonides P. Castillon Jr. (left).

He was able to make no provision as he enjoyed the grant of IDR– WODP, including the tuition fees, book allowances, and monthly stipends. And with the help of the scholarship, he was, fortunately, able to graduate from his course in the year 2020.

“Malaking tulong po financially ‘yung mga projects at mga librong pangangailangan nasusuportahan ni WODP… Napaka-thankful po ako kasi nakilala namin siya [WODP] at nakapasa po ako dahil sa kanya… Kung mare-recommend ko po yung WODP, napakaswerte [ng mapipili] po kasi malaki coverage ng WODP. Ang gagawin lang po ng estudyante is mag-aral lang talaga ng mabuti,” he enthusiastically said with a happy grin on his face and a relieved sigh during his visit at DOLE-NCR MUNTAPARLAS (Muntinlupa, Taguig, Parañaque, Las Piñas) Field office last March 2, 2023.

Rhyan said that he learned things about how to run a business when he completed his 800 hours of On-the-Job Training (OJT) in B Hotel Alabang. From there, he mingled with supervisors with whom he gained the knowledge of respecting and interacting with other people in a work setting. He also remarked that he gained a lot of friends along the way while he was undergoing the training.

He believes that his experience as an intern is a stepping stone for him to achieve his ultimate goal. And the provision of WODP that he didn’t miss, perhaps a blessing in disguise to get closer to his dream.

Now, he’s hoping to become an employee of a hotel, preferably in his former OJT assignment, and currently applying for other prospective establishments to work in.

Rhyan is one of the blessed beneficiaries of the labor department’s Workers’ Organization Development Program which aims to foster and strengthen labor unions and organizations by extending the provision of scholarship to legitimate members and officers of the locals/chapters of labor federations and independent unions to promote independent and active partnerships in national development.

END / Ericka Escalada