STA. CRUZ, Ilocos Sur, May 24 (PIA) - - The army's 81st Infantry Battalion had aided some people's organization (POs) to get financial support from the labor department for a sustainable livelihood development in the grassroot communities in the Ilocos provinces.
Lieutenant Colonel Charles DZ Castillo, commander of the army's 81st Infantry Battalion, said his unit facilitated the giving of a total worth of P2,832,000.00 livelihood aid from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region 1 to various POs in the upland towns of Galimuyod, Salcedo, and Gregorio Del Pilar, all in Ilocos Sur.
"DOLE Region 1 turned-over the financial assistance in a simple ceremony during the celebration of the 10th Founding Anniversary of our unit in our headquarters in Barangay Bugbuga, Sta Cruz, Ilocos Sur on May 18," said Castillo.
Castillo said that his unit through the Community Support Program (CSP) team closely coordinated with DOLE Region 1 for the provision of the livelihood assistance for the people in the community.
"We always embody the values of generosity, kindness, and genuine service to the people as we continue to collaborate with other government agencies as well as non-government organizations in order to help the people; if we cannot help them, we will find other organizations that can help them based on their needs," Castillo said.
Castillo said the initiative of his unit is in-line with the provisions of the Executive Order Number 70 dated December 04, 2018 issued by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte mandating the convergence of all government agencies to render the necessary support to the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
For his part, DOLE Region 1 Director Nathaniel V Lacambra said the military alone cannot solve the insurgency problem in the country. Thus, he said their agency is doing its share to end the local communist armed conflict.
Lacambra said the assistance received by the different POs will help alleviate the living condition of their members.
Meanwhile, Major Gen. Lenard T. Agustin, commander of the army's 7th Infantry Divison, said the soldiers are not only protecting the people but also, they are friends, who are ready to deliver basic services together with partner organizations and other stakeholders.
"I fervently hope that through our continued cooperation and support; and with God's assured guidance, we will be able to finally convince our enemy to abandon their struggle and finally return to the folds of the law," said Agustin.
The financial assistance from DOLE Region 1 was given to the following POs: P2 million worth of farm machineries to Legaspi Mogao Farmers Association and Dumapat Bidbiday Farmers Organizations, both in Galimuyod town; P100,000.00 worth of one unit Corn Seller to Kinmarin Forest Tree Association, and P340,000.00 worth of agricultural machineries to Bulala Farmers Organization, both in Salcedo town; and P98,000 worth of mushroom production equipment each to Matue Mushroom Production Association, Bussot Mushroom Production Association, Alfonso Mushroom Production Association, and Concepcion Mushroom Production Association, all in Gregorio del Pilar town. (JNPD/FGL,PIA1)