Thirty-four Indigenous people (IP) students, including five former rebels, finished masonry and carpentry training at the tribal hall of Sitio Tibucag, Barangay Dagohoy, Talaingod, Davao del Norte on Aug. 29.
The training workshop was led by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda)-Davao del Norte, Talaingod municipality, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Davao del Norte Provincial Office.
Capt. John Louie Dema-ala, the Civil-Military Operations officer of 56th IB,
Lt. Col. Norman Valdez, the Battalion Commander of the 56th Infantry Battalion, in his speech said that they recognized how the community is weighed down by poverty. With the livelihood training program,he hopes the participants will get a fresh start and work hard for the future of their respective families.
“Hopefully, you won’t take for granted the assistance given to you,” he said.
Arlyn Bandong, Tesda provician director, said they have a directive from President Duterte to bring government service to Sitio Tibucag. The 34 trainees would be the first batch for the masonry and carpentry certificate program.
She said the program wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Talaingod LGU and the 56th IB.
Also, Talaingod Mayor Jonnie A Libayao said the project would serve as bridge for the IPs who didn’t finish school. “Through Tesda, they would even learn more,” she said.
Bogsi Anlas, the Punong Barangay of Dagohoy, thanked the LGU, Tesda, and the Army for helping his fellow IPs, especially those who couldn’t continue their education due to poverty.
Valdes said this initiative was in line with the AFP’s Community Support Program to address the issue of limited access to education. They found that the New People’s Army continues to exploid the Lumads because of poverty.