TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur – As part of the continuous empowerment of the intensified “whole of the nation approach” of the government in attaining sustainable peace and development, the Poverty Reduction and Livelihood Employment Cluster (PRLEC) of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) in Agusan del Sur, commenced its service implementation in Barangay Lydia, Lapaz, Agusan del Sur yesterday, November 05, 2019.
With the coordination from the local government of Lapaz, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) as the cluster’s chair agency in partnership with the Agusan del Sur School of Arts and Trades (ASSAT), facilitated the conduct of the said activity and further give a brief background about the activity delivered by Engr. Norberto B. Dorado, supervising specialist of TESDA.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) as the lead agency, implemented its program for the Former Rebels (FR’s) and Indigenous People (IP) entitled “Tulong pang hanapbuhay para sa ating mga displaced workers”, which will initiate on giving a cash for work program in 30 days except Saturdays and Sundays for the target beneficiaries. A total of fifty one (51) beneficiaries have been registered to the said program, six (6) of this are FRs.
Mr. Jake E. Abunda of DOLE, gave an orientation to all the beneficiaries on the program. He further explained that it is not a long term program and that it will only give a daily income for thirty (30) days in order to provide financial assistance for them to have a capital if in case they want to venture in a certain business.“Three hundred twenty (320) pesos ang inyong madawat nga sweldo sa sulod sa thirty (30) days. Ang inyo lamang buhaton ang magtrabaho para gihapon sa inyong kaugalingon. Pinaagi sa Department of Agriculture nga maghatag sa inyo ug mga semilya sa mga pananum, makatukod na mo ug inyong farm, swelduhan pa mo sa inyong pagkabuhaton”, Abunda said.
Other clustered agencies who attended the said activity, also gave their contribution of services. The Public Employment Services Office (PESO) offered free massage for the local populace of Lydia. The Department of Health (DOH) through its Rural Health Unit (RHU) organized pre-natal check-up, immunization, family planning orientation, and distribution of medicines. The Philippine Army through 401st Brigade, 26th Infantry Battalion and 544th Engineering Battalion were also present. Aside from providing security for the said activity, they also conducted free haircut and treat the attendees especially the children for a free ice cream.
Barangay Lydia is one of the identified areas under Peace and Development Zone (PDZ) at the same time one of the identified barangays with a high percentage of poverty in the province. According to Provincial Statistics Office, more than 85% of poverty rate was recorded on the year 2018 in the said barangay. On the other hand, Barangay Lydia was considered as cleared barangay from New People’s Army (NPA) infestation and as a proof, they already declared the NPAs as Persona Non Grata last July 20, 2019.
Meanwhile, the Municipal Mayor Michael D. Lim gave his heartfelt gratitude to PRLEC members for choosing his constituent barangay as beneficiary. He also emphasized that since Barangay Lydia is now clear from armed conflict, it is very timely to pour all the necessary government programs and projects in the barangay for sustainable development among its populace. “I am commending the PRLEC members for a job well done. Among the twelve (12) clusters in the PTF- ELCAC, PRLEC was the first to implement their programs and we were very lucky that our barangay was the first beneficiary”, Mayor Lim said.
Likewise the Commanding Officer of 26th IB, Lt Col Romeo C. Jimenea inspirationally said, “This is the start of the collaborative efforts of all government agencies. We are very lucky that all the members of PRLEC are dedicated in their commitment to contribute to further enhance the cluster’s mission”, Lt Col Jimenea said.
Relatively, the Deputy Brigade Commander of 401st Brigade, Col Francisco F. Lorenzo Jr. also said, “On behalf of our Brigade Commander Col Allan D. Hambala, I am commending the PRLEC members for their dedication in bringing the government near in this community. For the local populace of Barangay Lydia, the most important contribution you can give is your heartfelt commitment to the government, to be resilient individuals for the attainment of lasting peace. With your participation, we can create a progressive and peaceful community and live in tranquility”, Col Lorenzo said.
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