Soldiers, former NPA rebels finish TESDA training

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

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

They received their TESDA National Certificates (NC II)  under TESDA’s Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) in a simple rites here recently.

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

“We are so thankful for the support and services provided by TESDA to our unit especially in livelihood and skills trainings which benefit former rebels, exploited local folks, and even our troops. We will continue to partner and collaborate with TESDA, 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 urged the former rebels to help the government convince their former comrades to go down from the mountains and surrender.

“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 told them.

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

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

After their graduation ceremonies, training allowances were given to the graduates. (With PNA)

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