COTABATO CITY – One hundred twenty-one (121) more decommissioned combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have been added to the roster of graduates of various livelihood skills trainings conducted by the region’s education ministry.
On Tuesday, March 15, the Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education’s Technical Education and Skills Development (MBHTE-TESD) held a graduation ceremony for the trainees who completed their course on cookery and pastry making.
One of the trainees Abdullahh Nuh Salisit, 59, from Tuka, Sultan Mastura, said he is confident with the skills he learned that’s why his family is planning to start a small business as an additional source of income.
“Kung magkakaroon ako ng puhunan, magpapatayo ako ng sarili kong business para sa ika-uunlad ng aking pamilya,” Salisit said.
MBHTE conducted the training at Simuay, Sultan Kudarat in Maguindnao in collaboration with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) and the Ittihadun Nisa Foundation and Darussalam Institute of Technology.
The training was implemented under the Normalization Program or the Executive Order No. 79 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Maliit man ngunit malaking tulong itong skills para sa aming mga decommissioned combatants,” Salisit said.
For Salisit, the courage to defend the Bangsa cannot be repaid by anyone.
“Ni minsan hindi naging madali para sa isang ama na iwan ang pamilya, ngunit ito ang buhay namin na mga Mujahideen. Bukal sa aming kalooban kung ano ang kahihinatnan ng aming buhay sa kapanahunan ng pakikipag-digma,” he recalled.
“Hindi man naging simple ang karanasan namin na MILF combatants sa mahabang panahon, [kami] ay lubos paring nagpapasalamat dahil napakinggan ang aming hinaing at [nabigyan ng]mga oportunidad galing sa pamahalaan,” Salisit added.
He said he feels assured that since the establishment of the Bangsamoro Government, no more combatant will return to the battle field as everybody has now witnessed the improvements in their lives, including the relief from their family’s fear of losing a loved one.
“Ngayong malaki ang tiwala ng mga tao sa ating gobyerno ay hindi na natin kailangang bumalik sa dati,” Salisit emphasized.
Meanwhile, Engr. Ruby Andong Director-General of MBHTE-TESD Regional Office said “layunin ng technical vocational educational training na linangin ang kakayanan ng decommisioned combatants at nang kanilang pamilya para magkaroon sila ng maraming oportunidad tulad ng pagkakaroon ng maliit na negosyo o di kaya ay mas magandang trabaho.”
This month, MBHTE-TESD is conducting a series of graduation ceremonies for a total of 731 decommissioned MILF combatants from Maguindanao who finished their trainings on dressmaking, cookery, bread and pastry production, plant crops, carpentry, and electrical installation. (Johaira B. Sahidala/BIO)