91st IB, PSWDO, OPAPRU start to strengthen the needs of Aurora Provincial Federation of People’s Organization

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By Jason de Asis

BALER, Aurora-Fifty selected officers of the Aurora provincial federation of Provincial Organization composed of former rebels (FRs) and former mass supporters converged here inside the home of the Philippine Army’s 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Battalion, Camp Jaime Bitong, Barangay Calabuanan in this capital town of Aurora to be part of the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) Former Rebel Transformation Program (TP) to better address the 18 Peoples Organization (PO) needs facilitated by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) and Sinagtala Troopers on Saturday, December 2.

Lt. Col. Julito B. Recto, Jr., commander of 91st IB said on Sunday in an interview that the gatherings is a remarkable one since the POs has provincial federation, the “Asosasyon ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan para sa Kaunlaran at Kapayapaan sa Aurora” (ANMKKA) and started to rebuild their lives within their communities. “We have now the PSWDO personnel who joined here together with our officers who have decided to lay down their arms and return to mainstream society. Our government is doing its best efforts to help our FRs.

It is also much better if they have the knowledge and skills of managing their livelihood assistance given to them,” Recto said. The top military official in this province also said that the program of OPAPRU together with other concerned agencies are paving the way for genuine peace and reconciliation to equip the participants with the necessary knowledge and resources to develop their customized plans towards the success of the federation.

“This is one of the ways of our mandated tasks, to strengthen the transformation program, to brace our campaign to solve insurgency, rebuild the lives of our FRs, resolve their concerns so that we could figure out how our government could respond,” Recto said, pointed out that the government remains steadfast in its commitment to achieve peace, resilience, unity and striving for the complete transformation of FRs.

PSWDO Chief Abigail F. Paulino expressed her sincerest thanks to the federation, saying that her office is committed to help them push forward to become productive civilians. “We in the provincial government will continue to aid the federation.

The PSWDO can also give training, technical assistance or advice to improve their livelihood to become productive members of the community and will provide you with more livelihood programs,” she said. ANMKKA President Ka Edgar expressed his utmost appreciation for the relentless assistance coming from the 91st IB, PSWDO, OPAPRU and other concerned agencies through the implementation of the EO70, whole of nation approach through the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). “Thank you Lt. Col. Recto and Civil Military Operations Officer Captain Candidato Paduman for the continued support to us, we are so grateful for the additional knowledge about the government programs for us. It was fruitful activity and aspirations as we begin to start a new life,” Ka Edgar said.

The activity included PSWDO orientation, objective setting, program for FRs, ratification of constitution of by-laws, situation or FRs in Aurora (needs, negative situation, aspirations), workshop-formulation of action plan and activities, output presentation and lastly, the transformation program plan. 

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