Friday, June 7, 2024

Insurgency-free town gets aide; lives improve

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jun 7, 2024): Insurgency-free town gets aide; lives improve (By:Joyah Mae C. Quimoyog)

Residents of a town in Ilocos Sur are starting to see progress after it was declared insurgency-free by the government.

In fact, livelihood associations have been organized to receive assistance for their businesses.

Since the deployment of army troops in Quirino town in Ilocos Sur province, the residents there have experienced positive transformations.

Joy Bentir, a farmer from Sitio Madapoy in Barangay Patungcaleo, expressed her gratitude to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Philippine Army for constantly assisting their community.

The DOLE turned over some 768 heads of chicken that are ready to lay; vitamins, chicken feeds, chicken cages, and disinfectants to the 81 members of federated associations in egg-laying production of barangays Patungcaleo, Namitpit, and Suagayan.

In an online conversation on June 4, Bentir said, “Gapu ti tulong ti Philippine Army, isuda ti nangtulong a nangpatakder daytoy nga organisasionmi, sadakami tinulungan a nagaramid ti resolusion a naipasa iti DOLE iso itan dagiti sagsarapenmi a tulong.”

(The Philippine Army assisted us in establishing our organization and aided in crafting a resolution submitted to the DOLE, which is the reason for the various government assistance we are receiving.)

Bentir, a single mother and a former overseas Filipino worker, said she has been seeking additional income to support her mother alongside farming.

She said, “Dakkel a tulong kaniami dagitoy a livelihood ta kalaksidan ti panagtalon ket addan nayon a pag-incomemanmi. Isu a dakkel a tulong kaniak ken iti pamiliak lalo kaniak ta single mom ken adda pay ni inak nga umas-asa kaniak.”

(This livelihood aid is beneficial for me and my family. As a single mother who also supports my mother, the additional source of income will surely provide much-needed support alongside our farming activities.)

According to DOLE provincial head Charity Ubilas, this was the second time the people’s organization had received such assistance since September 2022 as part of the DOLE Livelihood Assisted Project: Egg-Laying Production Project (Enhancement).

Bentir mentioned that they generated a net income of P129,700 from the initial batch of chickens provided by the DOLE and then expanded their operations by offering low-interest loans to organization members.

When asked about their sales after receiving additional chicken heads, she replied, “Madamada agit-itlogen, maka-dua tray [ti itlog] kami pay agmalem.”

(The chickens we received recently have already started laying eggs. We are now harvesting at least two trays of eggs every day.)

The organization sells the eggs in their barangay and when they have more eggs than usual, they also sell them in their local market.

Bentir added that some of their organization’s members are former members or relatives of former members of Underground Mass Organizations or UGMO.

“Dakkel ti naitulong ti kasundaluan lalo ti 69th Infantry Battalion ta isuda ti nanghikayat ti tattao ken inanusanda nga inpakaawat ti tattao dagita amin a banbanag ket ditoy met a nakitami a manipud idi immaydan immadu ti tulong a naggapu ti gobierno a dumandanon kaniami,” she said.

(The Philippine Army, particularly the 69th Infantry Battalion, has played a significant role in informing our constituents about the activities of communist terrorist groups. They have carefully explained vital information about these groups, and their presence in the community has facilitated better access to government agencies and offices despite the distance.)

She said their community has since been peaceful and no conflict has since been recorded.

The Army troops were deployed in their community in 2020 as part of its intensified Community Support Program (CSP) that aims to address the issues that are being exploited by the communist rebels.

According to the Philippine Army, the CSP program and the numerous activities and programs implemented for the conflict-affected and cleared barangays are one of the results and outcomes of the collaboration among the members of the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

Seventeen members of the egg-laying association in Barangay Marozo in Narvacan town were also provided with the same assistance last May 14. (JCR/MJTAB/JMCQ, PIA Ilocos Sur)

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