61 FRs receive lifelong learnings for community reintegration in Agnor

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – At least sixty-one (61) former rebels (FRs) directly benefited from a three-day livelihood skills training conducted from March 16 to 18, 2021 at the headquarters of the 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion (23IB) in Jamboree Site, Purok 6, Barangay Alubihid, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.

The training was organized through the convergence of efforts of the 23IB, the Provincial Government of Agusan del Norte, the office of Agusan del Norte Second District Representative Maria Angelica Amante-Matba and the Department of Education in the province (DepEd-ADN).

The three-day activity was also in line with the DepEd-ADN’s ALS/IPED Caravan: Livelihood Skills Training for Former Rebels that carried the theme: “Strengthening ALS/IPED Education through Transformative Partnership for Lifelong Learning.”

The ALS/IPED stands for Alternative Learning System Indigenous People Education.

The opening activity last March 16 was attended by Gov. Dale B. Corvera, Cong. Ma Angelica Rosedell M Amante-Matba, Dr. Evelyn R. Fetalvero Regional Director, DepEd, Schools Division Supt. Romeo O. Aprovechar, and 23IB commanding officer Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo. Representatives from the different line agencies of the government also witnessed the start of the three-day activity.

The sixty-one (61) FRs have undergone ten (10) types of skills training during the three-day program that includes Basket Making, Baking, Food Processing, Wellness Massage, Beauty Care, Welding and Electrical Installation, Skirting, Landscaping, and T-Shirt Printing.

During the conclusion of the three-day training on Thursday (March 18), Alias Tatay Nilo, one of the FRs thanked the government, particularly the 23IB for the opportunities he received.

“Dako ni siyag katabang para sa mga FRs og daghan na mga kahigayonan nga gihatag sa gobyerno, karon pa nato nabati. Kung atong ikumpara sa bukid ang mga pagtulun-an nga gihatag halos ihungit na nila sa ato. Mapasalamaton kami sa inyong kooperasyon labi na sa 23IB, wala kami nagmahay nga naa mi diri nakaabot,” Tagay Nilo said.

He also recognized the programs and services of the administration of Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte, especially the support given to the former combatants of the communist New People’s Army (NPA).

“Nagpasalamat kami sa gobyerno nga gipanguluhan ni Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Tungod sa iyang mga maayong panlantaw, napahigayon ang mga pagtulun-an alang sa panginabuhian nga dakung tabang kanamo ilabi na kung kami mobalik na sa among mga komunidad. Daku sab og natabang ang ALS program. Kini nga mga pagtoon makatabang unya sa among paglambo uban sa among pamilya,” Tatay Nilo said.

He emphasized that the government has provided services to every FRs who are now temporarily sheltering at the headquarters of the 23IB.

Tatay Nilo also asked the FRs to fully utilize the learnings they received from the DepEd and other agencies of the government.

“Dili na nato buhian ning kahibalo nga atong nadawat kay kaning tanan blessings alang kanato. Ang panggamhanan naghatag og dakung panahon aron lamang kita maka kat-on niing mga pagtulun-an,” Tatay Nilo said.

At the opening of the activity on March 16, DepEd-ADN Supt. Aprovechar emphasized the objectives of the ALS/IPED program and the benefits it will bring to the FRs.

“The Department of Education through the Alternative Learning System aims to educate people especially those who are less fortunate individuals having a hard time accessing formal basic education. Through the implementation of Executive Order 70 institutionalizing the Whole of Nation Approach, we join the Local Government Units (LGUs) in helping the FRs by providing different skills training to prepare them as they will soon be reintegrated to their respective communities,” Aprovechar said.

For his part, Gov. Corvera said that insurgency, which has been pestering the country for years, is the concern of everybody.

“Insurgency is a problem of everybody and every one of us must give our part to solve it. Our soldiers have been risking their lives to achieve peace and we manifest our continuing vow to support the 23IB’s mission of winning peace by using public funds to provide basic services to help the civilian populace and different tribes in far-flung communities to include the FRs,” Corvera said.

Rep. Amante-Matba also asked for the cooperation of the FRs during the training, saying that learnings will help them change their economic living conditions.

“We hope that you will focus on this activity to learn more because it will surely help you raise your economic status in the near future. Even though the government is always willing to provide for your necessities, you still need to exert efforts to improve your living. Your government focuses on extending help both in FRs and different far-flung communities who are in need. But it is so hard for us to sustain the needs of all people and we need your cooperation especially now that we are facing this pandemic wherein we need to serve everyone. We hope that you will focus, be serious in order to learn more skills that will help you to have a sustainable livelihood when you go back to your respective communities,” Amante-Matba said.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Paulo expressed gratitude for the continuing support of the Provincial Government and other agencies to the Former Rebels at the 23IB.

“These sets of training will help them acquire technical competencies which will help them to be employed or develop their entrepreneur skills in the future. We are glad that all of you showed interest in these training activities. This will be the start of your progressive lives. Use your learned skills to improve your lives when you return to your communities,” Paulo said.

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