THE Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) of Negros Occidental, together with the City Government of Escalante, launched a project in two insurgency-cleared barangays of the city recently.

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), which chairs the PRLEC, said the recipient-barangays are Dian-ay and Binaguiohan.

Dubbed “Serbisyong Pang-Gobyerno para sa Patuloy na Kapayapaan at Pag-abante ng Escalante,” the project under PRLEC will provide skills training and other livelihood interventions for identified beneficiaries belonging to marginalized and vulnerable sector in the area.

Tesda-Negros Occidental Acting Provincial Director Romelia Nuezca, in a press statement, said a total of 66 former rebels, including their families, will be the initial beneficiaries of skills training programs.

Of the figure, 41 are from Barangay Binaguiohan and 25 are from Barangay Dian-ay.

The skills training for Barangay Binaguiohan include Raise Organic Hogs and Raise Organic Small Ruminants for 21 and 20 residents, respectively.

For Barangay Dian-ay, the agency will be conducting training on Organic Agriculture Production NC II for 25 individuals.

“The training in Barangay Dian-ay will be funded under the agency’s Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) while that in Barangay Binaguiohan will be under the Special Training for Employment Program,” Nuezca added.

Tesda-Western Visayas Director Jerry Tizon, who led the launching activity at Barangay Dian-ay Covered Court, assured the agency’s commitment to help the country achieve inclusive and sustainable peace by supporting the basic and marginalized sector living in vulnerable areas.

“The training programs that will be given to you are just the start of our interventions. This is a stepping stone towards a life that you deserve,” he told the beneficiaries.

The regional director was joined by Escalante City Mayor Melecio Yap Jr. and Vice Mayor Johnny Gabriel.

Yap, in his message, thanked the Tesda for the program and urged the beneficiaries to nurture and take seriously the training provided because it will be their way to improve their lives.

During the launching, the participants also signed the pledge of support and cooperation to the project.

The activity was also attended by 79th Infantry Battalion Executive Officer Major Orlando Ayllon Jr., Executive Assistant IV Rolyn Cabus, Escalante City Police Station Chief Lieutenant Colonel Mark Evan Salvo, barangay and city officials, as well as representatives from partner-agencies like the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture, and Public Employment Service Office.