49 Indigenous Peoples – Out-of-School Youths (IP-OSYs) of Esperanza, this province have completed their 30-day Mobile Computer Literacy (MCL) Training through a closing ceremony held at the Esperanza National High School, Barangay Poblacion, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur.
The said training was the first-ever launched in the province of Agusan del Sur and was made possible through the initiative of 26th Infantry “Ever Onward” Battalion (26IB), Philippine Army with the support of the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Esperanza and in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), and Department of Education (DepEd).
The said training was aimed to provide the appropriate and basic knowledge and skills for the IP-OSY from the far-flung areas to operate a computer which is very essential in this generation where technology is already a part of people’s daily lives. Originally, there were 21 OSYs in attendance during the opening of the training and an additional 28 OSYs registered before the start of the training.
Cherry Mae O. Ligcuban, one of the students from Barangay Bakingking, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, expressed her gratitude to the LGU and Army troopers for the wonderful opportunity that was given to the IP community. “Daku kaayo among pasalamat sa tanan nga nagpasiugda niining maong programa kung diin kami gitudloan ug nakakat-on sapag operate sa computer ilabi na kay gamit kaayo ni nga kahibalo sa panahon karun. Ug kini usa lamang sa mga pipila ka libreng serbisyo sa goberno alang sa katawhan ilabi na sa mga wala naka human sa pagtungha sa taas nga edukasyon tungod sa kalisod (I’m thankful to all the agencies involved in this program. We learned a lot especially on how to utilize and operate the computer which is really useful during this time. This is just one of the many services that the government has for the people particularly those who were not able to finish their education due to poverty,” she said.
Esperanza Mayor Leonida Manpatilan lauded the efforts of the concerned agencies and the Philippine Army and vowed to support them in all their developmental endeavors. “Thanks to the Armed Forces and to all supporting agencies for the enormous effort in the implementation of government programs particularly the Mobile Computer Literacy Training for the IPs that would greatly contribute to their knowledge and development. Rest assured, the local government will always look for rooms for more project to its constituents,” she bared.
Likewise, Lt. Col. Reynald Romel A. Goce, Commanding Officer of 26IB, commended the actions and undertakings of the LGU-Esperanza and emphasized the importance of bringing the government closer to the people in the far-flung areas especially the IPs. “This activity connotes the importance of winning the trust and confidence of the people, providing what the locals needs to grow and foster in this rising modern community. It is one amongst the benefits of having Executive Order Number 70 or the “Whole of a Nation Approach” where the concerned agencies work hand-in-hand in providing services and sociological needs of the people especially in CTG vulnerable areas,” he said.
Col. Cerilo C. Balaoro, Deputy Brigade Commander of 402nd Brigade emphasized that the CTGs have been exploiting the minds of the youth for their communist cause discrediting the government efforts in attaining peace and development in our country. “As one of the vulnerable sectors in our society, the young minds of the youth are being exploited and poisoned by the deceptions and propagandas of these terrorists. They become NPA combatants fighting in the jungle for their futile struggle,” he underscored.
“You are here to be trained and to be more educated. This training will prepare and transform you to become productive citizens of the community. The government will continue its efforts in supporting the needs of the youth and the IP communities. Education is the solution, not armed revolution. As advocates of peace, we are now peace partners. Let’s protect the future of our nation by protecting the youth sector against the ambitions of the communist-terrorists. The youth must be in classrooms studying and learning for a brighter future and become useful citizens of our country for they are the future leaders and hope of the coming generations,” Col. Balaoro ended. (2Lt. Cecille Tappa, acting CMO, 26IB/PIA-Agusan del Sur)