To ensure their smooth transition back to mainstream society, the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division (ID), in partnership with various national government agencies and local government units, distributed broiler chicks to 15 former members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Compostela Valley province.
Maj. Gen. Rafael Valencia, commander of the 10ID, said that the livelihood project dubbed “Effectively Mainstreaming Former Rebels Through Livelihood Opportunities” was actually a re-entry project of Maj. Reandrew Rubio of the 10ID who is a student of Public Management Development Program at the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP).
“This worthwhile project really provides the opportunity to rebel returnees to start a new life in the mainstream society. As fellow Filipinos, we want to assist them through these livelihood programs,” said Maj. Gen. Valencia.
“This kind of project would somehow contribute in alleviating the living conditions of the former rebels while they are in their respective communities and would also entice active rebels to return to the folds of law,” he added.
The 900 broiler chicks were equally divided among the 15 beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries of the project are former NPA rebels who returned to the folds of the law through units under the operational control of the Army’s 1001st Infantry Brigade-46 Infantry Battalion and 71st Infantry Battalion.
Major Rubio personally proposed in his project the grant of livelihood assistance to former rebels from Compostela Valley province to facilitate their return to mainstream society.
As re-entry project, it was visited last month by former Undersecretary of the Department Of Science and Technology (DOST) and faculty lead of Public Management Development Program-Development Academy of the Philippines (PMDP-DAP) Re-Entry Project Prof. Fortunato dela Peña.
Professor Dela Pena was received by Col. Norman Zuniega, Civil Military Operation Officer of 10ID representing Major General Valencia.
“The purpose of the visit is to validate the reported data on the status of re-entry project implementation and its deliverables,” said Major Rubio.
During the site visit and inspection, the former rebel-beneficiaries expressed their gratitude to the 10ID and its partner agencies.
Col. Macairog Alberto, 1001st Infantry Brigade commander, lauded the efforts of partner agencies,
“We treasure our stakeholders for their active participation and assistance to our former rebels and we look forward for their unfaltering support in assisting in the livelihood of our community,” Col. Alberto said.
“This effort is geared towards presenting solutions to the needs of the ComValeños in order for our deceived brothers to abandon the armed struggle and instead arm them with livelihood skills training,” he added. #