ZAMBOANGA CITY, May 31, 2022 – A total of 25 friends re (FRs) belonging to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur received kabuhayan starter kits (KSK) from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 9 on May 24, 2022 at the Project Good Life Village, Guipos, ZDS.

DOLE 9 Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe said that the KSK project forms part of DOLE’s Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) and is also in line with Executive Order 70 issued by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte with the aim of defeating the local communist terrorist group and obtaining sustainable and inclusive peace throughout the Philippines.

As part of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), DOLE is an integral part of the poverty reduction, livelihood and employment cluster.

The said cluster seeks to establish responsive measures to address poverty among marginalized communities, create livelihood and income opportunities and develop stable employment conditions in different industries of the country.

“In this undertaking, we are witnessing various agencies coming together for the purpose of providing better opportunities to former rebels as they are welcomed back into mainstream society,” Atty. Buenafe said, taking into consideration the partnership with the 53rd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.

The 53rd IB launched Project Good Life for Friends Rescued, an initiative of the Philippine Army in hopes of providing FRs a better quality of life within 10 months with the help of partner agencies.

DOLE Zamboanga del Sur Field Office and Lindongan Farmers Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LIFABEMCO) as accredited co-partners, facilitated the release of starter kits composed of tools and jigs for the following projects: commercial cooking, baking, barber shop, gardening, welding, carpentry and small engine repairs.

The assistance amounted to a total of PHP 446,414.00.

“To ensure that more FRs can benefit from DOLE’s livelihood program, we have already earmarked an amount for the purchase of more starter kits in 2022,” Atty. Buenafe said. END