Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur—The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the 9th Special Forces (HOUNDS) Company of the 3rd Special Forces (ARROWHEAD) Battalion in coordination with the Barangay Local Government Units (BLGUs) of Diatagon and San Isidro, Lianga, Surigao del Sur (SDS) conducted a community based training program on Agricultural Organic Production to forty six (46) former members of the militant group, Kapunungan sa mga Mag-uuma sa Surigao del Sur (KAMASS). The 29-day training formally opened last September 19, 2019 at Mejares Fun Farm, a TESDA Accredited Agricultural school in barangay Banahao, Lianga, SDS.
The former KAMASS members are now active members of Camansi and Agila Peoples’ Organizations. These are the results of the peace and development efforts of the Community Support Program (CSP) which identified their livelihood issues used by militant group, KAMASS, to organize and mobilize them in anti-government demonstrations. Last month, the peoples’ organizations received vegetable seedlings to aid them in their farming. The next phase of trainings will include Abaca Production Technology Technical Training under the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PHILFIDA).
Lieutenant Colonel Joey B Baybayan INF (GSC) PA, Commanding Officer of the 3RD Special Forces (ARROWHEAD) Battalion said that it is better if basic delivery services and social issues are resolved through proper channel such as this.
“Yes there are various issues that affect our communities and these are best resolved through the convergence and synergy between government and the affected community. Front groups of Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) pretend to help those in need by bringing them on the streets to exploit them in demonstrations as a show of force to discredit the government. If they are sincere in addressing the issue, why not bring them to the appropriate and concerned government agencies which can resolve their issues instead of dragging them on the streets and giving them false hopes, “he said.
The Surigao del Sur TESDA office which leads the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) marshals new strategies that ensure better services for communities, as part of the state’s efforts to further promote sustainable and inclusive peace.