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Iloilo students taught career options, refuse rebel recruitment

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ILOILO CITY – Students in the municipality of Tubungan look forward to a wide range of career choices, and being a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) is never an option.

This, after the municipality of Tubungan’s Public Employment Service Office (PESO) and the Municipal Task Force To End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC) joined forces for the first Career Guidance Employment Coaching and Campus Peace and Development Forum in Western Visayas held at Tubungan National High School Gymnasium on Friday.

Emelyn Estando-Tano, officer-in-charge of PESO-Tubungan, said 775 Grades 10 to 12 students of Tubungan National High School and Lanag Norte National High School participated in the event.

“We are guiding them (students) because we want them to become productive members of the society. If the other group (CPP-NPA) conducts recruitment among our youth, we are here to intensify also our recruitment for them to have a better future through having the right career path,” she said in a phone interview on Monday.

Tano said students were asked to wear attire that reflects their dream job, and noted that there was a number of them who wore the uniform of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

1st Lt. Ferdinand De Vera, Commanding Officer of the 61st Infantry Battalion’s Bravo Company, gave a lecture on leadership skills and career opportunities in the Philippine Army.

“The Air Force unit also has their exhibit of K9 dogs for the students to be given the idea of the opportunities in the government service,” Tano said.

Also a member of Tubungan’s MTF-ELCAC, Tano said there were records of rebel recruitment of students as young as 13 years old in the town.

Students in Lanag Norte National High School come from far-flung villages, which she said are most vulnerable to rebel recruitment.

“The PESO is not only a bridge from the applicant to the employer, but can also bridge peace and development to our youth. We are also strengthening our partnership with the Department of Education to prevent rebel recruitment among our youth,” Tano said.

Aside from the military service, the students were guided on a career that matches their skills, and available training provided by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

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