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Gov't whole-of-the-nation-approach empowers Pampanga IP village


25 August 2020
TAGUIG CITY - Various government projects pour on a rebel-infested village in Pampanga initiated by the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) which is led by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Recognized as an Aeta ancestral domain, Mawacat village in Floridablanca town is a priority target for the recruitment of communist propagandists, according to authorities.

TESDA-Pampanga Provincial Director Eric Ueda noted that together with the National Commission on the Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), member-agencies of the PRLEC have been very active in providing livelihood assistance to the community.

He shared that TESDA have already trained 25 individuals from the community in Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) NC I who will also be provided with welding machines by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

"We will also provide them with SMAW NC II training so they will be more equipped. Now, we are identifying another 25 individuals coming from different families to be trained with Organic Agriculture Production NC II as we are prioritizing on filling up the construction and agriculture labor force," Ueda added.

DTI have also pledged 40,000 peso-worth of entrepreneurship training and livelihood kits for Barangay Mawacat.

On the other hand, the National Irrigation Administration gave the community two fuel-operated shallow tube wells; hygiene kits from the Department of Social Welfare and Development; as well as corn seeds, fertilizers, seedlings of fruit-bearing trees and vegetables, and other planting materials from the Department of Agriculture.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources also provided the community with ten portable solar lamps and ten gillnets and then released 20,000 fingerlings of various fish in the river running through the village.

PRLEC-Pampanga was launched in Mawacat on July 28 this year, adapting it as its pilot village.

Ueda mentioned that PRLEC-Pampanga have also recently adapted Mawacat's adjacent village of Naboclod.

"We will visit Naboclod this week to conduct a needs assessment so we can identify how we can help the community," he said.

Ueda further added that they are planning to tap the newly-graduated soldiers from the 355th Aviation Engineer Wing of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) who recently finished Trainers Methodology Level I to train the residents of their adapted communities on carpentry and masonry.

The 16 PAF trainers are the first products of the partnership between the Department of National Defense and TESDA which aims to train government forces to become trainers for the residents of Geographically-Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA) of the country.

Meanwhile, TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña commended the PRLEC initiatives in Pampanga and urged other regions and provinces to formulate effective solutions on addressing the needs of GIDAs.
 
“Imagine how far we can go when we are able to identify and address all the needs of all the GIDAs in the country. We will not only reduce our poverty rate, but also contribute to the labor force of our local industries and eventually, achieve a lasting peace in our land,” he said.

Composed of 12 government institutions and private partners, PRLEC is one of the clusters under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) mandated by President Rodrigo Duterte to implement a whole-of-the-nation-approach in helping remote communities in need of assistance and social development.




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