(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Friday, 22 September 2023) Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting Southern Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Possible flash floods or landslides due to moderate to at times heavy rains. Light to moderate winds coming from Southwest will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 1.5 meters).

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Philippine Army, DepEd Launch Literacy Program for IP Soldiers and Former Rebels 

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – Fifteen Enlisted Personnel under the 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion (23IB) who are members of the Indigenous Peoples (IP) and 38 Former Rebels (FRs) graduated from the Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program facilitated by the Department of Education Division of Butuan City on July 26, 2022 in Butuan City.

The Army ALS learners, composed of Indigenous Peoples (IP), were enlisted into the regular force through Special Enlistment as part of the government’s support to IP who are most vulnerable to the Communist Terrorist Group's (CTG) recruitment and exploitation.

Majority of the recruited members of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) were not able to finish their studies, making them very vulnerable to radicalization and violent extremism. The CTG exploits those people who lack education especially in far flung areas convincing them to join the New People's Army since it would not be very  difficult for them to raise issues and propaganda to influence, convince and organize them against the government.

“Ang NPA ang hinungdan nganong wala mi kahuman ug eskwela. Sulod sa pila ka tuig nga pagpangalagad nako sa NPA ilang giguba ang among kaugmaon. Dako among pagpasalamat sa gobyerno nga gintagaan mi ug chance nga masugod ug bag-ong panginabuhi (For how many years serving the NPAs, they destroyed our future, they are the reason why I did not finish my studies. I am thankful to the government for giving us chance to start a new life," said Inday Binongkasan, who is the oldest graduate at 54.

The ALS Program was introduced to FRs at the Masigasig Happy Homes as part of their preparation before going back to their community, knowing that the main reason  for their recruitment  by the NPA is their lack of education. 

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey P Balingao, the newly installed Commanding Officer of 23IB congratulated the IP Soldiers and FRs for completing the ALS- DepEd program. He said, “we are happy that our soldiers and FRs hurdled the process of undergoing the program that will be to their best interest in continuing their military service and serves as their accomplishment. We also laud the efforts of the ALS teachers who patiently taught them and helped them complete the program. More than anything else, it’s their sacrifices that realized the success of our soldiers and FRs on this momentous day."

After having successfully completed this program, all they can think of is to move forward and become productive and responsible  citizens. Many years ago, most of these graduates were in the dark and holding weapons,  but now they are holding their graduation certificates onward to a better and brighter beginning. 

Despite this feat achieved by the government, the 23IB will unceasingly pursue the remaining members of the communist groups who are hiding in the hinterland boundaries of the province, in the interest of peace and justice to our nation. (2Lt. Paoula Andrea P. Ledesma, CMO Officer, 23IB, 4ID, PA/PIA Agusan del Norte)

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