Soldiers, former rebels finish TESDA training in Baler

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NEW SKILLS. Eight former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and 13 soldiers under the Philippine Army’s 91st Infantry (Sinagtala) Battalion the complete skills training under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). They received their TESDA National Certificates (NC II) on driving in a simple ceremony held on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020 at the 91IB, Bayanihan Hall, Barangay Calabuanan, Baler, Aurora. (Photo by Jason de Asis)

BALER, Aurora – Eight former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and 13 soldiers under the Philippine Army’s 91st Infantry (Sinagtala) Battalion have completed skills training under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

They received their TESDA National Certificates (NC II) on driving under TESDA’s Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) in a simple ceremony held on Tuesday at the 91IB, Bayanihan Hall, Barangay Calabuanan here.

Lt. Col. Reandrew Rubio, commanding officer of 91IB, said the training started on July 22, 2020 and ended last August 14.

“However, we only managed to conduct the graduation ceremony now due to some hectic and important activities,” Rubio said.

The graduates underwent 118 hours of skills training and assessments under the supervision of TESDA-Aurora provincial head Genaro Ronald Ibay, and Provincial Training Center-Baler Center administrator Lazaro Solis Jr.

“We are so thankful for the support and services provided by TESDA to our unit especially in the conduct of livelihood and skills trainings which benefit former Rebels, exploited local populace, and even our troops. We will continue to collaborate and partner with TESDA, local government units (LGUs), and other national government agencies (NGAs) in the delivery of basic services and resolve the issues being exploited by the communist terrorist groups and its sectoral front organizations,” Rubio said.

He said more skills trainings for the former rebels and soldiers, who are partners in intensifying integrated territorial defense system, will be done via the teamwork of committed government agencies actively supporting the Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC).

As part of the Whole-of-Nation Approach to ELCAC, Ibay told the former rebels to help the government convince their former comrades to go down from the mountains and surrender.

Ibay said since the graduates have experienced the program for themselves, he appealed to the former rebels’ friends or relatives who might still be in the armed struggle, to return to the fold of the law.

“Please tell them how good this program of the government is. We are delivering the necessary government services for those in the conflict-affected areas for peace,” he said.

Arnel Llimbo, one of the former rebels, said he is very thankful to the TESDA and 91IB for the program given to them.

“We were given the chances to learn. We will apply what we learned in the training. We will use it to start again with our family,” he said.

After the ceremony, training allowance was given to the graduates. (PNA)

The Philippine News Agency is a web-based newswire service of the Philippine government under the supervision of the News and Information Bureau (NIB) of the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

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