Families of Former NPA Supporters Undergo Basic Skills Training in Ilocos Sur

    FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija—In line with the celebration of National Women’s Month, the 71st Infantry (Kaibigan) Battalion facilitated the conduct of Basic Skills Training on Commercial Baking to the women sector of Sitio Tubalina, Barangay Alfonso, Gregorio del Pilar, Ilocos Sur on March 12, 2022.
    This endeavor was realized through the active support and partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry of Ilocos Sur through their “Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa Program”.
    During the activity, 20 female family members of former NPA supporters together with female Kaibigan troopers underwent training on making pandesal, ensaymada, and muffins.
    Said activity aims to empower women to improve their knowledge and skills on commercial baking and how to create and manage a small business at their capacity in connection with the Women’s Month Celebration.
    Aside from the training, DTI-Ilocos Sur handed over a two-layer baking oven gas type and starter kits to the members of Tubalina Women’s Baked Goods and Pastries Association, the organized People’s Organization which will be their starter capital on their small business.
    In addition, DTI-IS turned over a meat processing machine to the members of the PO in the community. It can be recalled that DTI-IS also conducted Steamed Snacks Making to the members of the PO which was facilitated by the 81st Infantry (Spartan) Battalion last November 24, 2021.
    “The Department of Trade and Industry is determined to support the communities who have the passion to become at least small-scale entrepreneurs. Since we are already exposed to the thrusts of the NTF-ELCAC in the province of Ilocos Sur, we highly prioritize conflict-affected and conflict-vulnerable communities to come up with specific and feasible programs and initiatives,” said Director Grace R. Lapastora, Assistant Regional Director of DTI-Region I.
    “Malaki ang aming pasasalamat sa DTI at sa Philippine Army na kahit kami ay nasa malayong lugar, sila ay walang humpay na umaalalay at maihatid sa amin ang ganitong training para sa pagsisimula ng aming kabuhayan,” said Mrs. Melanie Padangag.
    LTC Michael B Bautista, Commanding Officer of 71IB extended his gratitude to the unwavering support of DTI-Ilocos Sur in empowering the women sector in conflict-affected communities.
    Meanwhile, the Commander of the 7th Infantry (KAUGNAY) Division, Philippine Army Major General Andrew D Costelo PA said that the activity is part of their commitment and sustainment efforts in assisting the families of former UGMO members in Ilocos Sur.
    “We find it necessary to implement this program in collaboration with other stakeholders for the beneficiaries to have additional skills and income apart from their livelihood,” said MGen Costelo.