61 ex-NPA rebels complete 3-day skills training

BUTUAN CITY: At least 61 New People’s Army (NPA) surrenderers have completed their three-day livelihood skills training, an Army official said Friday.

1Lt. Roel T. Maglalang, civil-military operations officer of the Army’s 23rd Infantry Battalion (23IB), said the trainees are former rebels who surrendered from 2019 until the early part of this year.

“The activity was conducted from March 16 until 18 through the efforts of the 23IB, the provincial government of Agusan del Norte, the office of Agusan del Norte District Rep. Maria Angelica Amante-Matba, and the Department of Education,” Maglalang told the Philippine News Agency.

Conducted at the 23IB headquarters in Barangay Alubijid, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte, Maglalang said the training is part of DepEd-ADN’s Alternative Learning System (ALS) and the Indigenous People Education IPED program that aims to provide transformative and lifelong learning to former rebels in the area.

He said the beneficiaries were made to choose from the 10 different skills training — Basket Making, Baking, Food Processing, Wellness Massage, Beauty Care, Welding, and Electrical Installation, Skirting, Landscaping, and T-Shirt Printing.

“Tatay Nilo,” one of the trainees who completed the Welding and Electrical Installation Training, said acquired skills will help them reintegrate easily with their communities.

He thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for the programs and services being offered by the government to former NPA combatants.

Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, 23IB commander, expressed gratitude to the former rebels for their “cooperation and dedication. We are glad that all of you showed interest in these training activities. This will be the start of your progressive lives.”

(Alexander Lopez/PNASRNY/RSP)

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