Ex-NPA rebels in N. Ecija get carp, catfish fingerlings from BFAR

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has provided about 16,000 fingerlings to former members and supporters of the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army (CPP-NPA) during a distribution activity in the Science City of Muñoz in Nueva Ecija.

The BFAR, through the National Freshwater Fisheries Technology Center (NFFTEC) and in collaboration with the Army's 91st Infantry Battalion (91IB), distributed on Monday the carp and catfish fingerlings to members of two people's organizations (POs) - the Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Barangay Malinao Association and Barangay Tagumpay People's Association, both based in Gabaldon town.

Lt. Col. Julito B. Recto, commander of the Army's 91IB, said the beneficiaries will grow the fingerlings in fishponds built by the POs in their town as a requirement for the grant.

The livelihood assistance is under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) program, which aims to support and assist the former CPP-NPA rebels and sympathizers in starting new lives.

The program beneficiaries thanked the concerned government agencies for the livelihood aid that could give them a sustainable income.

'Nagpapasalamat po kami sa mga kasundulahan kasi dahil sa kanila ay nagkaroon kami ng livelihood na semilya ng isda na galing sa BFAR. Maraming salamat po. Malaking tulong po ito sa amin (We are thankful to the military. Because of them, we now have a source of livelihood - the fingerlings from BFAR. Thank you very much. This is a big help to us),' Roderick Tribianis, president of the Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Barangay Malinao Association, said in a video interview on Tuesday.

Tribianis said they are determined to improve their lives and provide a better future for their families by nurturing their new livelihood venture.

Yolanda Baldos, president of the Barangay Tagumpay People's Association, was likewise thankful for the assistance that was granted to them.

'Kami po ay lubos na nagpapasalamat sa BFAR at sa kasundaluhan sa tulong para kami ay makapagsimula ng livelihood (We are thankful to BFAR and the military for the assistance that could help us start a livelihood),' Baldos said.

The two people's groups will grow the fingerlings

Maria Jodecel Danting, chief of BFAR-NFFTC, said the distribution of fingerlings is part of the collaborative efforts of the NTF-ELCAC members to empower the communities, especially those affected by the communist groups' atrocities.

"Through NTF-ELCAC, tutulungan natin silang magkaroon ng livelihood projects na magiging source ng kanilang pagkakakitaan (we will help them have livelihood projects that would become their source of income),' Danting said.

Source: Philippines News Agency