1,255 ex-MILF combatants complete skills training

ZAMBOANGA. A total of 1,255 decommissioned combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) graduate from the technical-vocational skills training program initiated by the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MBHTE-Barmm). A photo handout shows the graduates attending the graduation ceremony at a covered in Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat on Tuesday, December 5.
ZAMBOANGA. A total of 1,255 decommissioned combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) graduate from the technical-vocational skills training program initiated by the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MBHTE-Barmm). A photo handout shows the graduates attending the graduation ceremony at a covered in Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat on Tuesday, December 5. SunStar Zamboanga

A TOTAL of 1,255 decommissioned combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have graduated from the technical-vocational skills training program initiated by the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm).

Minister Mohagher Iqbal of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education said in a statement Friday, December 8, that the graduates, who had once been part of armed conflicts, emerged from the training program equipped with skills that can lead to employment and societal contribution.

Iqbal said they graduated on Tuesday, December 5, the graduation ceremony of which was held at Camp Darapan of the MILF in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao del Norte.

Iqbal emphasized the skills would transform the graduates into “productive members of society”, ultimately enhancing their quality of life.

“Our leadership, both the Barmm government and the MILF, will do its best effort to support you in improving your livelihood,” Iqbal was quoted to have told the graduates.

He said they have undergone rigorous training in various national competencies, including Carpentry II, Dressmaking II, Bread and Pastry Production II, Electrical Installation And Maintenance II, Cookery II, and Animal (chicken) Production II.

“These programs were conducted with 16 different technical vocational institutions in Cotabato City and Maguindanao del Norte,” he said.

He said aside from certificates of training, the graduates also received tool kits and training support fund allowance from MBHTE-Technical Education and Skills Development (MBHTE-TESD).

Iqbal said the 1,255 graduates were among the 2,240 combatants targeted by MBHTE-TESD to complete their training before the end of 2023.

Taya Maguid, a 51-year-old dressmaking trainee from Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, expressed her gratitude to the Barmm government for the skills she acquired.

Maguid, who has been the sole provider for her three children since her husband’s passing, emphasized the positive impact her new-found skills would have on her family’s livelihood.

The event aligns with the implementation the Executive Order No. 79, also known as the Annex on Normalization, signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte on April 24, 2019, which emanated from the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro (CAB).

The EO outlines four main aspects of the peace mechanism: security, socio-economic development, confidence-building measures, and transitional justice and reconciliation.

Aside from Iqbal, also present during the graduation ceremony were MBHTE Deputy Minister Haron Meling, MBHTE-TESD Director General Ruby Andong and Maguindanao Provincial Director Salehk Mangelen. (SunStar Zamboanga)

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