Military troops and former rebels celebrated on August 25, 2020, the 1st Sinagtala Farm Harvest Festival showcasing the wide array of vegetables and other agricultural crops they planted and harvested together in a one-hectare land in Barangay Calabuanan, Baler, Aurora.
TOP PHOTO: HARVEST FEST. Government soldiers and former communist rebels hold the 1st Sinagtala Farm Harvest Festival in Barangay Calabuanan, Baler, Aurora on Tuesday (Aug. 25, 2020), which showcased the various vegetables and fruits they planted and harvested together. Witnessing the event was Governor Gerardo Noveras (center). (Photo by Jason de Asis)
Lt. Col. Reandrew Rubio, commanding officer of the Army’s 91st Infantry Battalion (91IB), said the Sinagtala soldiers and surrendered rebels started to plant 4,500 chili pepper, 1,000 eggplant and 150 papaya seedlings last June 4.
“We harvested over 50 kilos of chili peppers. We are happy for the opportunity to promote the harvest of our former rebels,” Rubio said.
He said the activity manifested that the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) is indeed effective due to the strong partnership and close collaboration with the provincial government of Aurora (PGA) and other national government agencies (NGAs) in support of the national government’s “Plant, Plant, Plant” program.
“We are very grateful of the support and services provided by the government, both local and national, to address the needs and aspirations of our former rebels who are beneficiaries of our Sinagtala farm,” Rubio said.
Governor Gerardo Noveras commended the 91IB for its efforts in helping former rebels become productive members of the society.
“The program is a big success. Helping our farmers from zero income, now they have bountiful harvest. If you give them a fish, your feed them for one day, if you teach them how to catch a fish, you feed them for a lifetime,” Noveras said.
The governor also advised the former rebels to embrace the programs espoused by the Philippine Army, Philippine National Police, Department of Trade and Industry, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and Department of Agriculture, among others. (Jason De Asis, PNA)