From the Mindanao Times (Jun 26, 2019): 30 former NPA rebels enrol in masonry, carpentry courses
Thirty former rebels and 10 Cafgu Active Auxiliary (CAA) of the 8th Infantry Battalion enrolled in carpentry and masonry courses offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) in Impasugong, Bukidnon.
Tesda-Bukidnon officially opened two in-house training courses for skills enhancement in the 8th IB headquarters in Impasug-ong on June 24. The courses will last 33 days and 25 days for carpentry and masonry, respectively.
Lt. Col. Ronald Illana, the 8th IB, commander said, “This program aims to enhance the acquired skills of the enrolled participants for their livelihood. ”
A former rebel, alias Alay, said “I am more than happy and very thankful to be enrolled in this program which could enhance my carpentry skills that I can use for my daily living.”
Kotie R. Bax, Tesda-Bukidnon provincial director, emphasized the importance of elevating their skills so they can support themselves and their family with a sustainable income.
“This is an avenue of new beginnings for our brothers who came back to the government for good,” Bax said. “These courses will help them build their dreams together with their families. Piece by piece, they will be given help to start anew.”
“As these courses are mainstream today and they have already acquired the abilities, we aim to enhance them with new techniques and use their skills well,” she added.
Lt. Col. Ronald Illana, the commander of the 8th Infantry Battalion, backs the opportunity-generating program.
“We wanted you to have a life where ideologies that consumed you as good citizens of this country won’t, again, dominate your minds,” he said. “We wanted you to be deradicalized through livelihood programs to help you start again.”
“Now, as you have eradicated your pasts, may this opportunity set new doors and be reminded that the government never ever turned its back on you,” he added.