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31 rebels earn skills

Thirty-one former rebels are now ready to work after they graduated Friday on a four-month skills training and apprenticeship program on heavy equipment operation spearheaded by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the G.E64 Enterprises Inc.

Col. Nolasco Mempin, the commander of Philippine Army’s 1003rd Infantry Brigade, said the 31 former rebels are the first batch to undergo skills training.

Mempin said the rebel returnees are currently assigned at the 16th Infantry Battalion under his command.

He said the graduates were already receiving P294 daily allowance while attending training on heavy equipment operation, hydraulic excavator and dump truck operations.

Some of the graduates, Mempin said, will be absorbed by the G.E 64 Enterprises, a heavy equipment spare parts supplier, repair, and rentals located along Diversion Road in Barangay Ma-a, Talomo District.

Mempin said they will refer the remaining graduates to other construction companies so that they will have a stable job after the training.

“Actually what’s good in this program is that after their training, they can have stable job,” he added.

Most of the 31 rebel returnees were regular members of the New People’s Army (NPA), These included a vice commanding officer of Pulang Bagani Command 1 and a commanding officer of Militia ng Bayan.

After they surrendered, they were placed under the Enhance- Comprehensive Local Integrated Program (E-CLIP).

Mempin said some already received initial assistance “while the rest are on the process.”

He is hopeful that more rebel returnees will also undergo the same training.

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