Army, TESDA holds agro-tech training fo remote North Cotabato communities

At least 50 residents from eight far-flung villages here are set to complete an agriculture technology training initiated by the military in partnership with the Technical Skills and Development Authority (TESDA).

Photo: AGRO-TECHNOLOGY TRAINING. The lecture and actual field instruction on agricultural technology imparted by mentors from the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority on some 50 trainees from eight former communist-influenced villages in Tulunan, North Cotabato. The trainees (inset) are being assisted by personnel of the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion throughout the program. (Photo courtesy of 39IB)

Participants in the agro-technology training are from the villages of Batang, Bacung, Bituan, Banayal, Nabundasan, Daig, Tuburan, and Magbok, all former communist-influenced areas in the municipality, according to the military.

1Lt. Walter Jhun Orille, the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion (IB) civil-military operations officer, said that the agriculture program forms part of the government’s Enhanced Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) that aims to improve the villagers’ agricultural output.

“This peacebuilding effort would really change their lives developing their potentials with the available resources,” Orille told reporters here Wednesday.

Recipients include members of an association allegedly organized by the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front-New People’s Army, particularly the Batang Tulunan Farmers Association, which voluntarily joined the program, he added.

The program is currently implemented in three designated demo-farms under the 39IB here, the 72IB in Magpet, and 16IB in Arakan town.

The program will run for 29 days, and each beneficiary is entitled to a PHP160 allowance per session, a one-time PHP500 internet allowance, and a PHP500 book allowance.

Graduates will be given a certificate and TESDA National Certificate (NC-II) – a valuable credential needed for technical, technological, and vocational career for employment. “This intervention is a way better to instill partnership and alliance towards conflict-affected communities through consolidated efforts of government agencies,” he said.

Meanwhile, the 39IB said it is also in the process of completing the last phase of the community integration program in the eight identified conflict-affected villages by next week. (John Andrew Tabugoc, PNA)

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