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Ex-MNLF rebels find hope, inspiration from SLP Associations in Bukidnon

SLP for Ex-MNLF rebels

Moro rebel returnees from Lanao del Norte have embarked on a transformative journey toward a brighter future as they were introduced to livelihood opportunities by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Five former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) combatants, who were selected by the Municipality of Sultan Naga Dimaporo, were endorsed by the Lanao del Norte Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) to the DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) to help them start new lives.

These former rebels, who once joined the other party, have now discovered their way back to society through livelihood programs and economic empowerment.

Their journey toward a promising future started with 2-day tour visitations to the municipalities of Quezon and Pangantucan in Bukidnon province, in order for them to glean insights from successful SLP Associations (SLPAs) in the province, in the hope of replicating their successful livelihood endeavors.

The visit began with a trip to the Salawagan Tri-People Women’s Workers Association (SATRIPCOMWA), a beacon of hope in their barangay, whose source of livelihood is planting rice, corn, and coffee.

Prior to receiving the SLP grant, the community depended on private companies for processing raw materials into finished products, which often result in delays and limitations in processing stock items.

SLP for Ex-MNLF rebels

The grant from the DSWD’s SLP empowered the SLPA to purchase machinery, improving their efficiency and lowering the costs for the community.

The association generously shared its knowledge and expertise in rice, corn, and coffee production, showcasing the power of collaboration and shared success. The rebel returnees also learned to operate various machineries, like rice and corn millers, threshers, shellers, pulverizers, and other equipment.

On the second day, the participants visited Pangantucan, a municipality known for its organic vegetable production.

The UTAH Farmers, an SLPA which have excelled in cultivating high-value crops like cabbages and onions, impressed and inspired the former MNLF combatants as they shared the entire production processes — from land preparation to harvesting.

The farmers demonstrated to the participants the potential of organic farming to become a sustainable source of livelihood.

As they embrace their new lives through sustainable livelihood programs, this tour visitation provided the former MNLF combatants with a lifeline, offering possible livelihood interventions and paving the way for a brighter tomorrow.

The tour, which aimed to share the knowledge and experiences of successful SLPAs with the former MNLF rebels, was part of the program component to build the capacity of SLP beneficiaries to handle and manage a sustainable livelihood.

With their newly acquired knowledge, the rebel returnees are now more equipped in improving their socio-economic status through SLP grants.

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