NEW BATAAN, DAVAO DE ORO – As a new year begins so as the life of 108 former NPA supporters who received livelihood starter kits from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Davao de Oro during the first municipal flag raising ceremony of the year at Brgy. Poblacion, Maragusan, were given to the 45 graduates of Cake Making Training held last September 10 to 20, 2019.

Beforehand, there were 40 starter kits were earlier released to the beneficiaries of Brgy Tagugpo, Pantukan last January 2, 2020. TESDA will also be giving 23 welding machines this month to the beneficiaries of the same barangay making up a total of 108 beneficiaries.

This program is part of the Executive Order Nr. 70 the Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict that prioritizes Former Rebels (FR), former members of Underground Mass Organizations (UGMO) and Indigenous People (IP) in giving basic needs and services.

It can be recalled that last December 5, 2019, the Provincial Social Welfare and Development (PSWD) gave Cash-for-work assistance to 33 FRs based in New Bataan by providing them community-based employment including cleaning public places and tree-planting. Furthermore, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region XI also rendered Emergency Employment Program where 300 residents of Brgy Manurigao, New Bataan received a stipend amounting to the minimum wage of the days that they worked for the road maintenance in their community.

“Give a man a fish, and he will be hungry again tomorrow; but teach him to catch a fish and he will be richer all his life,” 1LT FRANCIS HERNAEZ, Alpha Company Commander, 66 th Infantry Battalion quoted a Chinese proverb as part of his message to the beneficiaries during the first municipal flag raising ceremony of Maragusan.

LTC ROMAN S MABBORANG, Commander of 66 th Infantry Kabalikat Battalion told the 33 FRs during the Cash-for-work program to encourage their former comrades to go back to the folds of the law. “These are just few of the benefits provided by the government through the Executive Order Nr. 70. These trainings and programs help the community appreciate the value of hard work and let them realize how workers and small capitalists suffer from extortion of the threat groups. Your 66IB will continuously and untiringly support these programs until the community achieved sustainable peace,” LTC MABBORANG added.