By Mike U. Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – A total of 30 former communist-New People’s Army (NPA) rebels participated in the five days skills on livelihood program in organic agriculture and livestock training in Surigao del Sur province, 36th Infantry (Valor) Battalion (36th IB) Civil Military Operations (CMO) officer 1st Lt. Rodante A. Soso said.
These former NPAs also joined with the People’s Organization (POs) in the training held at the different venues in Sitio Ibuan Barangay Mampi in Lanuza town, Barangays Burgos and Mabahin in Cortes town, all of Surigao Del Sur province, since Friday (July 3), also said the 36th IB CMO officer, in a statement sent to The Manila Bulletin on Monday.
This training is an endeavour by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and TESDA in promoting and sustaining the inclusive peace in the pilot communities which is the continuing effort being extended to the former rebels (FRs) that surrendered to the Community Support Programs (CSP) of the 36th IB in Sitio Ibuan Barangay Mampi which used to be the hotbed of the communist insurgency in the area, 1st Lt. Soso said.
The program aims to develop residency among the FR’s, indigenous peoples (IP’s) and other beneficiaries, the 36th IB CMO officer said.
Said activity was attended by Mr. Rey Cueva Provincial Director TESDA Surigao del Sur, and Chairman of the Poverty Reduction and Livelihood and Enhancement Cluster, Miss Gemma Asufre, Chief Agricultural consultant from the Department of Agriculture in Caraga region and 36th IB commander Lt. Col. Jezreel J. Diagmel.
The 36th IB commander deployed CSP in said areas to implement the peace and development program in highland communities.
Lt. Col. Diagmel, believed that through training and education on this matter would open the window of opportunity to the beneficiaries particularly the FRs and the community in attaining peace and sustainable livelihood development in our area of operation.
“We are here to help our local communities and this organic agriculture and livestock raising training is very vital in peace and development program, aside of uplifting the living condition of our far-flung villagers,” the 36th IB commander added.