Former left-leaning communities see bright future with gov’t projects

Communities that formerly supported the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) are now seeing a brighter future after they are being poured with development projects by the government.

TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña distributed planting and harvesting materials to the beneficiaries of the agency’s training/production of Binangay Banana.

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Benito Baylowanon, a former chairman of the Kilusang Rebolusyonaryo sa Barangay (KRB) and now the chairman of the Kauswagan Side 4 Farmers Association, expressed his elation on behalf of his tribe that the government never left them even if they had supported the CPP-NPA.

“Lipay kaayo ang tribu Matigsalog sa Side 4 kay naabot ang kining serbisyo dinhi sa amoa. Karon ang matag tagsa-tagsa ka pamilya, naa nay lahi-lahi na uma. Tagsa-tagsa sab ka pamilya, nay gihandum nga kaugmaon para sa ilang mga anak,” he stressed. (The Matigsalog tribe in Side 4 is very happy that these services reached us here. Now, each family has their own land to till. Each family also envisions a future for their children.)

Baylowanon recalled that since 2012, they did nothing but support the communist movement. He even said that they sometimes, abandon their livelihood to support the fight against the government.

“Nakatilaw ko ug grabeng sakrispisyo didto sa walhong grupo pero walay gyuy mga benepisyo para sa akong mga anak,” he added. (I experienced excessive sacrifices with the leftist group but there were really no benefits for my children.)

Among the government services, Baylowanon said, that brought changes to their lives are the trainings cum production from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

“Karon pipila pa lang mi kabulan, March pa mi nagsugod, pero naa nay makita na Binangay. Unsa pa kaha ang kalipay sa among mga kabatanonan kung makaharvest na gyud mi ug sugod.” (Now after how many months, we started this on March, but then we can already see the Binangay. If we will start harvesting this, how much more happiness can we see from our children.)

Last March 16, TESDA Davao de Oro started a training cum production of Binangay Banana in Sitio Side 4. Now, according to Baylowanon, they have planted around 25 hectares of their land with Binangay.

Through the said training cum production, the community received planting and harvesting materials from TESDA.

Aside from that, the agency also trained the residents of the community on meal planning and cooking available fresh farm produce.

During his visit, TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña emphasized that the government never leaves its people and only wanted to provide them comfortable lives.

“Ito ‘yong mga ginagawa ng goberno para iparating ang serbisyo sa malalayong komunidad; na hindi na shooting wars, but it is more on introducing development projects para maiangat ‘yong pamumuhay ng ating mga kababayan sa malalayong lugar at mailayo sila sa exploitation sa CPP-NPA,” Secretary Lapeña underscored. (This is what the government is doing to bring the services to farthest communities; not shooting wars, but it is more on introducing development projects to uplift the lives of our fellow at the farflung areas and keep them away from the exploitation of the CPP-NPA.)

The secretary also pointed out the community was given with a solar power system through the Amoma ug Giya Alang sa Kahamugaway (AGAK) or Care and Guide for Stability Project.

Joining the TESDA in Sitio Side 4, the Department of Agriculture also distributed seedlings of high valued crops.

Aside from Sitio Side 4, Secretary Lapeña also visited on Tuesday Barangay Prosperidad in Montevista, and Barangay Upper Ulip in Monkayo.

Some 25 indigenous peoples in Prosperidad were trained on toddy tapping (Manggiti); while 75 indigenous peoples in Upper Ulip benefited the trainings on carpentry, masonry, and electrical installation and maintenance.

Secretary Lapeña is also scheduled to visit other communities in the region to bring more TESDA programs. Michael Uy, PIA 11)

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