Conflict Affected Areas in Surigao del Norte Receives Livelihood Assistance from Inter-Agencies

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Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte – Over a hundred individuals from the different people’s organization within the Conflict Affected Areas in Surigao del Norte received and awarded different livelihood assistance from Poverty Reduction Livelihood and Employment Cluster of the Provincial Task Force Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) spearheaded by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) held in Brgy Camam-onan, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte, Thursday, April 15, 2021.

The beneficiaries came from the Brgys of Lahi, Sico-Sico, Camam-onan or commonly known as “LASICAM Complex”. Their places of origin were among the barangays declared as Conflict Affected Areas (ConAAs) in the Province of Surigao del Norte that were also identified them as strong-holds of the CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNTs) for the past decades.

Through the Army’s Community Support Program (CSP), 30th Infantry (Fight On) Battalion identified the primary and secondary issues that were exploited by the CNTs and subsequently recommended appropriate actions/solutions thru convergence by the different line agencies in Surigao del Norte Province specifically under the PRLEC of the NTF-ELCAC.

One of the highlights of the activity is the Awarding of Inter-Agency Livelihood Assistance to the different People’s Organization of LASICAM such as Hog Raising Livelihood Starter Kit for fifty two (52) individuals of Brgy Lahi and Camam-onan from DOLE, 28 Hectares Coconut Fertilization Project, Cassava Tubers Processing Equipment, Participatory Coconut Planting Project with provisions of 3,500 seedlings to members of the Indigenous People, Coconut Intercropping, Livestock Integration with 55 heads chicken, Feeds and incubator from Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), Livelihood Settlement Grant (LSG) to the Twenty-tree (23) Former Rebels of the Kapit Kamay People’ Organization from DSWD, Agri-Credit-Expanded Sure Aid for twenty two (22) beneficiaries from Department of Agriculture (DA) and also Mass Graduation and Awarding of Certificate for Skills Training for Agricultural Crop Production NC-I with fifteen (15) graduates, Meat Processing with twenty-six (26) graduates, Table Skirting with sixteen (16) graduates and Tilapia Culture with ten (10) graduates.

Further, the said activity was graced by Secretary Isidro S Lapeña, the Director General of TESDA, who personally awarded the certificates and livelihood projects to the beneficiaries, other attendees were Vice Governor Geed Gokiangkee, Hon Chandru T Bonite, the Municipal Mayor of Gigaquit together with Vice Mayor Jennifer Barbers Bonite, Brigadier General George L Banzon, 901st Brigade Commander, Lt Col Ryan Charles G Callanta, 30th Infantry Battalion Commander, PLt Col Diomedes B Cuadra Jr, Deputy Provincial Police Director-SDN, Ms May Velonta, Provincial Head of DOLE, Ms Mariel Makiano, Provincial Head of DOST, RM Joel B Oclarit, PCA Head, Ms Catalina O Tacubao, Acting Provincial Director of TESDA-SDN and Provincial Director of DTI, Mr Arnold D Faelnor.

In the statement of Secretary Isidro S Lapeña, he said that, “I personally express my gratitude to the PRLEC members of Surigao del Norte for their untiring support and commitment to these Conflict Affected Areas. These programs and activities by the different agencies of our government will surely help these communities to address the prevailing issues being exploited by the CNTs and eventually end the insurgency problems in this area. So, I encourage everyone, together let us make good for the well-being of those who are in need”.

Brigadier General George L Banzon also showed his deepest empathy to the beneficiaries and said, “This awarding of livelihood assistance to the people in LASICAM by PRLEC is a proof of the Government’s efforts towards attainment of sustainable peace in all barangays not only in LASICAM complex but the whole province of Surigao del Norte as well. For more than five decades, people in this area were deceived by the CNTs thru deceitful propaganda that blinded them. The only sure way to provide lasting solution to these issues is through our Whole of Nation Approach. Through NTF-ELCAC we will resolve our society’s woes and reach our common aspiration of peace and development”.

“I also commend all the efforts of our partner agencies especially the members of PRLEC for their efforts on this matter. Let us continue to work together in pursuit for economic upliftment of the people from this far flung areas who are the primary targets of CNTs deceptive propaganda and intimidations”. BGen Banzon added.

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