DTI Aurora Provincial Director Edna D. Dizon and Lt. Col. Reandrew Rubio led the distribution of starter kits to rebel returnees in Aurora.
DTI Aurora, together with the 91st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, awarded livelihood starters kits to 21 rebel returnee beneficiaries identified by the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) in Aurora. In ceremonies held on June 29, 2020 at Camp Calabuanan in Baler, Aurora, the 21 beneficiaries were provided broiler chicks, feeds, vegetable seedlings, fertilizers and other starter materials to start their new livelihood outside of the insurgency. The DTI Provincial Office in Aurora, as one of the members of the RTF-ELCAC, supports the ELCAC advocacy through its livelihood component – the Pangkabuhayan para sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa or (DTI PBG).
Lieutenant Colonel Reandrew Rubio of the 91st Infantry Batallion and DTI Aurora Provincial Director Edna D. Dizonled the launching of the PBG program and the distribution of the livelihood started kits. Among the livelihood activities to be supported are the Gulayan plantation or vegetable gardening, balut project , manukan and e-loading business. A total of Php 110,000 worth of livelihood materials were distributed for these livelihood activities.
In the turnover ceremony, one of the beneficiaries gave an emotional appreciation to the government for its efforts to help the rebel returnees such as them to go back to the mainstream society and be given opportunity to even own and grow their own businesses. In his speech, the rebel returnee showed his regret for the past life he’s lived and promised to make use of the new opportunity given them to be productive members of the community.
Aside from the livelihood starter kits, the Department of Trade and Industry also supports the ELCAC advocacy through capacity building programs and orientation on the services of the agency to help beneficiaries return to the mainstream of society. In 2019, the DTI offices in Central Luzon assisted a total of 1,806 beneficiaries in the countryside of Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan and Zambales. The beneficiaries were given training on the Basics of entrepreneurship, Food safety, Halal Certification, How to register a Business, How to register as a BMBE and other relevant livelihood topics. The beneficiaries were also assisted in registering their business names and oriented on the services of the Negosyo Center in their localities.
The partnership of the DTI and the armed forces is in line with the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) to capacitate and support former rebels in going back to mainstream society and becoming productive citizens.