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TESDA chief assures ex-NPAs of government programs for them

GOVERNANCE/POLITICS • 11:15 AM Tue Jun 18, 2019
Edwin O. Fernandez
TESDA Director General Sec. Isidro S. Lapeña meets with former NPA rebels in Gen. Santos City. Beside him is TESDA-12 Director Rafael Y. Abrogra II. (Photos courtesy of Karl Mike Tabingo)

KORONADAL CITY  -- Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Secretary Isidro S. Lapeña has assured former communist rebels that their decision to return to the fold of the law was wise and right because TESDA has programs for them.

Secretary Lapeña was with other cabinet secretaries who joined President Duterte during the distribution of certificates of land ownership award (CLOA) in Gen. Santos City. He took time out and joined TESDA-12 Regional Director Rafael Y. Abrogar II for a rare meeting with former members of the New Peoples’ Army operating in South Cotabato who are now TESDA scholars.

“Tell to your comrades that we have programs in TESDA,” Lapeña told the former combatants during a brief conference.

“TESDA can provide ample programs for you and your family, we are here to help you,” said Lapeña as the returnees applauded. As former police director for operation and 34 years in police service, Secretary Lapeña wanted to pursue his advocacy of reaching out to armed group who once fought the government.

“Ar-Ar,” a former NPA rebel who was tasked teach the new recruit about the vision of NPA, said life in the mountains have been very difficult and insufficiency of resources made it even harder.

“Ar-Ar” was glad he and his group are now recipients of government programs that will reshape their future.

“I am hoping that TESDA can help in our aim to have a better life, not only for us former rebels but also for our family,” “Ar-Ar” told Secretary Lapeña.

Director Abrogar said the first batch of 10 ex-NPAs as TESDA scholars are one of the many batches of rebel returnees that TESDA 12 is providing skills training for them to become productive citizens in the days to come. 

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