FORMER New People’s Army (NPA) mass supporters received an estimated P2 million worth of livelihood projects from the local government of Surigao del Norte.
1Lt. Christian Elpedes, the Civil-Military Operations (CMO) officer of the 30IB, said the recipients are from different people’s organizations within the conflict-affected areas in Surigao del Norte who were former members of the underground mass organization of the communist rebels who withdrew their support from the group through the 30IB Community Support Program (CSP).
The former NPA mass supporters received livelihood projects from the different government agencies under the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood, and Employment Cluster of the National Task Force of Ending Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in Surigao del Norte during a series of turnover activities this month.
The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) on their part, has turned over 5,000 pieces of dwarf coconut seedlings worth P750,000 to the farmers of Barangay Mahanub and San Antonio of the municipality of Gigaquit.
PCA Caraga officer-in-charge, who graced the activity, handed over the coconut seedlings. Meanwhile, Gigaquit Mayor Chandru T. Bonite, Vice Mayor Jennifer T. Bonite, municipal agriculturist Hazel Verano, and Maj. Jasper T. Gacayan, executive officer of the 30IB, were also present at th event.
Moreover, the Department of Social welfare and Development–Sustainable Livelihood Program (DSWD-SLP) also turned over different livelihood projects worth P300,000 in the form of farm supplies to the farmers of Barangay Pongtud and income-generating projects for the women of Barangay Campo, both of the municipality of Bacuag, and Agrivet Supplies and Frozen Products, to the farmers and homeworkers of Barangay Dayano of Mainit municipality.
The series of activities was graced by Mr. Jhunrey A. Betonio DSWD-SLP provincial coordinator,. Cedric R. Tantoy, Sangunian Bayan Member of the municipality of Bacuag, Ms. Minerva I. Lomugdang, MSWDO-Bacuag, Ms Maria Ali Yuan, senior business councilor (DTI NC), Hon Teodoro A. Ibarra, barangay captain of Pongtud, and Carlos P. Oval, barangay captain of Campo, both of the municipality of Bacuag, and Ronnie C. Orcullo, barangay captain of Dayano of the municipality of Mainit.
Ritchel O. Otaza, resident of the Kabuhayan ng mga Kababaihan Association said, “The women’s organization would like to extend our gratitude to all the government agencies behind this program, especially to the troops from 30IB headed by Lt. Col. Callanta for all the assistance and support they rendered for us, from establishing the organization to letting us avail the government livelihood projects to uplift our way of living.”
Also, Betonio said in his statement, “One way to address the many problems in the community is to bring the Livelihood Services of the government to the people, particularly in the conflict-affected areas. Rest assured that we will extend our assistance and support to the communities and advocate the attainment of lasting peace and progress.”
Lt. Col. Ryan Charles G. Callanta, commanding officer of 30IB stated, “The convergence efforts of the different agencies of the government are big/significant steps in helping to address issues being exploited by the CTGs in Conflicted-Affected Communities.”
“Such activity is a manifestation of the government’s efforts in achieving sustainable peace and development in the whole province of the Surigao del Norte,” Callanta added.
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