Former NPA supporters in E. Samar get free training, allowances and starter kits
BORONGAN CITY, June 17 (PIA) – Delayed for some time due to the COVID-19 threat, some 103 former supporters of the NPAs in the hinterlands of Can-avid town received their starter kits and allowances on June 16 from the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA).
TESDA-8 Regional Director Dante Navarro and Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone personally distributed the starter kits and the National Certificates from the 20 days or more of training in Electrical Installation and Maintenance, Dressmaking, Driving, Food Processing, Bread making and Raising Organic Hogs.
The barangays have been categorized by the army as influenced and stronghold of the NPAs since the 90s.
In early 2019, personnel from the local government unit of Can-avid town and the provincial government with the army sailed to Brgy. Pandol to usher the so called retooled community support program (RCSP).
RCSP aims to address the issues on the ground through a convergence of government initiatives with the participation of the locals in development planning.
The program is part of the Executive Order Number 70, the Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
The army believes that locals tend to side to the communist rebels as they believe that the government has abandoned them.
The government projects may have failed to reach them due to their distance from the economic highway.
The RCSP team learned that the local residents needed livelihood.
Thus the Poverty Reduction Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) through TESDA, then brought in skills training that the residents wished.
Aside from the free training, they were also given allowances and starter kits.
Husband and wife Warlito and Rosalyn Lebreja enrolled in Electrical Installation and Maintenance and Organic Hog Raising respectively.
“Dako nga oportunidad ini nga ginhatag, kun mabayad ako, mahal,” (This is a big opportunity, if I have to pay, I may not afford it) said Warlito.
They were then into farming and life was difficult.
Today, Warlito has high hopes that he can apply as electrician at the local electric company, while Rosalyn claims that his training helped her observe a sow intently whether it can produce a lot of litter.
Mayor Gil Norman Germino in his message condemned the rebels and announced that he is supporting the Anti-Terrorism Bill.
Towards his talk, he compared insurgency to the COVID-19 virus that tries to enter its host stealthily.
“Ayaw kita kahadlok, kun nababaraka kita nga masusudlan kita hin virus, pagburublig kita nga mawaray na insurgency ha aton.” (Do not be scared, let us help each other so that the virus will be wiped out.)
Governor Ben Evardone then enumerated the different projects of the provincial government to have access roads to the distant barangays of Pandol, Boco and Balagon.
“For the government to reach you, we have projects for access roads, the government is serious to help you earn a decent living for your families.”
“Kun makalsadahan ha iyo, dako ini nga bulig.” (Roads can help you in your economic mobility.)
He also promised that the government’s assistance does not end there.
“If you need more, we will help you, enrich what you learned in the skills training for your own development.”
Director Navarro also confirmed that the government can provide more for the residents of Pandol, Boco and Balagon.
“Aside from free training, free assessment, you will also be given an allowance of P160 a day, a PPE allowance of P500 and another P500 for those who will use the internet to learn skills,” Navarro said.
He told them that TESDA is trying to reach Filipinos who are living in distant places to offer them skills training that they can use to better their lives.
“Kung malayo po kayo, ang TESDA mobile trainers ang pupunta sa inyo dahil ang TESDA katuwang ang ibang ahensya ay layuning maabot kayo, magbigay ng kaalaman na gagamitin niyo na mabago ang inyong buhay,” Navarro said. (nbq/PIA 8 Eastern Samar)