FIFTY-NINE former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and supporters in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay have successfully completed month-long skills training to enable them to earn a living while living peaceful life.
The training was conducted by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) facilitated by the Army’s 44th Infantry Battalion.
Dr. Noralaine Rasul, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) regional director, said the livelihood training that the former NPA rebels and supporters have successfully completed included shielded metal arc welding, food processing, and cake baking.
They graduated Friday, December 27. The ceremony was held at the multi-purpose building in Guinoman Village, Diplahan, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Rasul congratulated the graduates and hoped for more former rebels to enroll in the program in order for them to gain skills and jobs, which is beneficial for their families.
Lieutenant Colonel Don Templonuevo, Army’s 44th Infantry Battalion commander, vowed to work and encourage more NPA surrenderers to sustain the gains of peace and development in the province.
Templonuevo facilitated the surrender of former NPA rebels and their supporters and assisted them to enroll for skills training with Tesda.
Colonel Leonel Nicolas, Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade commander, said the fruitful endeavor is the result of the whole-of-nation approach and the convergence of the national government units and agencies in the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC).
Brigadier General Bagnus Gaerlan Jr., Army’s 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan acting commander, was delighted by the successful activity and the choice of the former rebels to become productive individuals.
He hoped they will encourage their remaining comrades to follow their path, which is to stop the armed struggle and live a normal life.(SunStar Zamboanga)