BANCASI, Butuan City – Seventeen (17) Indigenous People who enlisted as soldiers under the 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade completed the two (2) years Alternative Learning System Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) program facilitated by the Department of Education Division of Butuan City on April 30, 2021 at Headquarters, 402nd Brigade, Camp Romualdo P Rubi (P), Brgy Bancasi, Butuan City.
The Army ALS learners are composed of Indigenous People and Former Rebels who were enlisted in the regular force through Special Enlistment as part of the government’s support to Indigenous Peoples and Reintegration Program.
Colonel Cerilo C Balaoro Jr, the 402nd Brigade Deputy Brigade Commander, on behalf of Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, 402nd Brigade Commander, attended the simple Completion Ceremony with a theme: “Edukasyon Pahalagahan, Ito’y Daan Tungo sa Magandang Kinabukasan…Alternative Learning System ang Kailangan” which signifies that the soldiers are now on their way to become eligible and qualified members of the regular force of the Philippine Army. Mrs Ana Marie L Ceniza, Representative of School District Supervisor of West Butuan, Ms Remedios C Hinampas, the District-In-Charge and ALS Manager and Hon Teresita A Durante, Brgy Kagawad of Brgy Bancasi Butuan City were also present to witness the moment of success of our Indigenous People soldiers.
It can be recalled that the Philippine Army allocated a Special Enlistment quota for Indigenous People and former rebels and waived all their educational and age requirements to serve for at least six (6) years term. As part of sustaining the professionalism of all Army troops, the higher Headquarters directed the said soldiers to complete at least secondary education soonest; hence, they enrolled in the DepEd’s ALS A&E program.
Captain Algiem U Basig, the Personnel Officer of the 402nd Brigade, who monitored the status of IP/FR soldiers ALS education said, “We always monitor the progress and development of our soldiers’ as ALS students and continuously guide them to ensure that they could continue their service in the Army. They must cope up with the qualifications or requirements as members of the AFP once they will be subjected for examinations and/or when they become eligible for promotion”.
The ALS Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) Assessment and Certification is a process that comprises an exam and other appropriate assessments to measure the competencies acquired by ALS learners based on the ALS K to 12 Basic Education Curriculum (BEC).
Meanwhile, Colonel Cerilo C Balaoro Jr, the 402nd Brigade Deputy Brigade Commander, congratulated the soldiers for completing the DepEd A&E program. He said, “We are pleased that these soldiers painstakingly hurdled the process of undergoing the program that will be of their best interest in continuing their military service. We also laud the efforts of the ALS teachers who patiently taught our soldiers. More than anything else, it’s their sacrifices that realized the success of our soldiers on this momentous day”.
In his statement, Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, 402nd Brigade Commander, conveyed his sincere gratitude to the leadership of DepEd Butuan City led by Ms Marilou D Dedumo, PhD, CESO V, the Schools Division Superintendent, for the continuous commitment and partnership that enhances the capability of its personnel. He said, “The Department of Education is always a committed partner of the Philippine Army towards Peace and Development. Hand in hand, the DepEd became part of continuously professionalizing our troops. Thank you DepEd”.
“As we move towards sustaining our gains against those who utilize education as a way to deceive learners and advocate violence for their own agenda, we implore everyone to be wary of the Sectoral Front Organizations of the Communist Terrorist Group and drive them away from the campuses and communities, and support our efforts to stop youth recruitment”. Brigadier General Licudine stressed.