From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 15, 2019): 31 ex-Reds hurdle 4-month TESDA skills training
A total of 31 former members of the communist New People's Army (NPA) are setting a new path to a brighter future after finishing the four-month skills training and apprenticeship program for heavy equipment operation.
Alias Omar, former vice commander of the NPA's Pulang Bagani Command 1, said the skills training was a big help as it gave them an opportunity to land a job and earn a living.
"It was new learning for us," Omar said here Friday after the graduation ceremony that was facilitated by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and GE 64 Enterprises, Inc.
Omar, who said he was part of the NPA's urban assassination unit, the Special Partisan Unit (SPARU), said he surrendered in November last year after seeing the opportunities being provided to rebel returnees.
"Also, it was tiring and the movement no longer has any direction. There was no progress in our lives," he said in the dialect.
Col. Nolasco Mempin, commander of the Army's 1003rd brigade, said the 31 surrenderers belonged to the NPA units operating in Paquibato district who returned to the folds of the law through the collaboration of the local government, TESDA, and other partners.
Mempin said the graduates received a daily allowance PHP394 while on training, and some will be employed by GE Enterprise.
The others, he said, will be referred to other construction firms.