Thursday, December 8

DTI relief program benefits ex-rebels

TURNING A NEW LEAF. Former rebels from Alfonso Castañeda town in Nueva Vizcaya are given livelihood kits by the government under a program of the Department of Trade and Industry. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

ALFONSO CASTAÑEDA, Nueva Vizcaya (September 16)—A total of 27 beneficiaries including former rebels from this town were awarded livelihood kits that contain sari-sari (variety) store and rice-retailing items from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Region 2.

DTI Region 2 said the beneficiaries and former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels received their kits from the DTI-Nueva Vizcaya under the Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa (Economic Development and Relief) program and awarded in partnership with the local government unit here.

DTI-Nueva Vizcaya provincial director Marietta Salviejo said this program of the department in the province aims to improve the economic status of the beneficiaries, especially those who were affected by natural and human-induced calamities, including health disasters.

Salviejo said they also want to help their beneficiaries to recover from the negative effects of the global pandemic crisis.

Of the 27 beneficiaries, according to Salviejo, 15 are former NPA rebels who expressed thanks to the DTI officials whom they consider new allies and who will help them transform their lives.

“At first, we were afraid to surrender because we thought we would end up in the hands of the military and the police,” the former rebels said, grateful to the government for giving them a chance to reform.

Salviejo said the the ex-rebels also expressed their plans to form an association in the town that will focus on developing and making rattan crafts.

She pledged the agency’s full support for the endeavor through the Negosyo Center manned by DTI junior business counselor Josie Supe, whose first intervention will be helping the group with their registration and formal or official setup.

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Mayor Wilson Capia-ao of this town also thanked and commended the DTI-Nueva Vizcaya team for its efforts in going all out to serve the people of this farthest and remotest town of the province from the capital town of Bayombong. LCD