IMPASUG-ONG, Bukidnon (PIA)–Former rebels can now plant crops as sustainable livelihood while temporarily living inside the military camp through the Arm-to-Farm Program of the government.
Located in a two-hectare land farm offered by the Local Government of Impasugong at the headquarters of 8th Infantry Battalion, Barangay Poblacion, here, former rebels are closely trained and equipped with skills through the assistance from the Dependable troopers.
The theme, “Changing Mindsets, Enriching Lives: Transforming Red Revolution to Green Revolution” hopes to change the mindset of these former rebels from being a combatant to becoming a peaceful and productive individuals that contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.
A surrenderee in October 2019, Helen Omayon Hawi-an, 31, said, “Kami nagapasalamat sa atong Philippine Army uban sa lokal na pagkagamhanan na mitabang sa amua para mabuhat kini na proyekto na mahitabo. Kami naga-plano na magpadayon kani nga training sa pag-bake ug kami magadahom sa umaabot adlaw nama patukod ang atong bakery.”
(We thank the Philippine Army together with the peace and development partners who assisted us to make this program possible. We are planning to undergo training in baking, and we are hoping to have a bakery shop in the future.)
In a statement, Lt. Col. Edgardo V. Talaroc Jr, commanding officer of the 8th Infantry (Dependable) Battalion, said, “This unit together with our peace and development partners will continue to provide interventions to the former rebels while they are waiting to receive benefits from the Enhanced- Comprehensive Livelihood Integration Program (E-CLIP).” (8IB Dependable CMO/PIA10)