Western Visayas organized its Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) Monday.
The PRLEC is chaired by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and vice-chaired by the Department of Agriculture.
Gaspar Gayona, regional director of TESDA 6, said government agencies should come together in tackling the problems of poverty and unemployment in the country.
“The government agencies should come together if we want to solve poverty,” he said.
The cluster will work through a value chain programming to achieve the “whole-of-nation" approach, or the Executive Order 70, to end local communist armed conflict.
The cluster will identify livelihood suited for a certain area and its needs for skills training, he said.
“You can train the husbands to become carpenters but all of the members of the family should contribute to the earnings, so we can help them in that matter,” he said.
The programs of different member agencies, such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), will help in areas that cannot be covered by TESDA’s mandate.
For instance, the DTI or the DOST can provide equipment to locals trained by TESDA in bread and pastries, Gayona said.
He said actions of the cluster will be implemented in “priority villages” infested by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), and villages that are “vulnerable” to rebels.
“But we cannot deny the help to other villages who requests for it,” he clarified.
Through the organization of the cluster, Gayona said he expects that more rebels will be encouraged to go back to the fold of the law.
“That is expected. If there are no villages supporting them (rebels) because there are many who already surrendered and were taken care of with the framework. The cause is poverty, so we attack the cause and that will yield positive results,” he said.*PNA
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