STA. CRUZ, ILOCOS SUR – The Army’s 81st Infantry (SPARTAN) Battalion, in collaboration with other agencies, conducted a “Grand Pulong-pulong and Gift-Giving activity at Brgy. Buliclic and Brgy. Conconig East, both of Sta. Lucia, Ilocos Sur on May 20 and May 23, 2019, respectively.
The Grand Pulong-pulong (Meeting) is part of the Community Support Program (CSP) conducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines to Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA)
As one of the peace and development initiatives of the Philippine Army, the Pulong-Pulong helps in assessing the needs of barangays to become a disaster and conflict resilient community and make the different government agencies accessible to target barangays.
Participants in the activity were the provincial representatives of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Department of Agrarian Reform DAR, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the National Testing Agency (NTA), the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), the Provincial Agricultures Office and Philippine National Police (PNP) counter parts. Respective local and municipal barangay officers were also present.
Distributed food packs during the event came from 81IB’s event partner, the Philip Morris and Fortune Company Inc. (under their EMBRACE program) and Jaime Ongpin Foundation. The beneficiaries were given P500.00-worth food packs cotaining 4 kilos of rice, noodles, and canned goods.
Lt. Col Charles DZ Castillo PA, Commander of 81IB, said that the part of the prime purpose of the Army is to help communities. And so far, the unit has been actively playing its role. In fact, on May 18, almost three million (3M) worth of livelihood projects were conferred to different people’s organizations in Ilocos Sur through the facilitation of the 81IB.
Awarding of livelihood projects took place during the 10th Founding Anniversary of the 81IB which was held at the Battalion Headquarters in Brgy. Bugbuga, Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur. The Regional Director of DOLE for Region 1, Dir. Nathaniel V. Lacambra, personally handed the checks that would be used to finance the projects.
Five organizations received assistance for their approved project proposals which are the following: Legaspi Mogao Farmers Association, Kinmarin Forest Tree Association, Dumapat Bidbiday Farmers Organizations, Bulala Farmers Organization, and Matue Mushroom Production Association. Certificates of Registration were also awarded by DOLE which recognizes six associations in Ilocos Sur as legitimate members of the Rural Workers Association here in the Philippines.
Major General Lenard T. Agustin AFP, Commander of 7th Infantry Division, congratulated the troops of 81IB for being instrumental in ushering development in the different barangays of Ilocos Sur. He said, “The Army is now using every means it can to bring peace and development. And success is a definite end when different government agencies and non-government organizations all pitch-in to do good work and promote the people’s interest and welfare. This is nation building at its finest ad the Army is proud to be a part of it.”