Camp Aquino, Tarlac City, 16 Nov. 2023 – In a remarkable display of solidarity and support, joy and hope are beaming on the faces of about 500 farmers and their dependents after benefiting from the Northern Luzon Command, AFP, and Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict 3 (RTF-ELCAC) Serbisyo Caravan for Peace and Development held at Barangay Balete, Tarlac City, on November 16, 2023.
The peace caravan para sa MALAYA with the theme “Tuloy-tuloy na Pag-unlad, Tuloy tuloy na paglaya ng Malayang Magbubukid ng Asyenda Luisita” is a convergence of government agencies, non-government organizations, and the private sector to provide various services and initiatives in response to the basic services needed by these local farmers in Hacienda Luisita, particularly the members of the Malayang Magbubukid ng Hacienda Luisita who were former members and supporters of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG).
The Serbisyo Caravan featured a medical and dental mission that provided free health consultations to include eye check-ups, X-rays, blood chemistry, blood typing, influenza vaccination, and the distribution of medicines, vitamins, and hygiene kits to the farmers and their families.
The farmers were also given free agricultural inputs, such as seeds, from the Department of Agriculture, financial assistance worth 3 thousand pesos each from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) Tarlac, and bags of rice from the office of the Tarlac 2nd district representatives. The children also benefited from the feeding program, the distribution of slippers from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Tarlac, and the Regional Emergency Assistance Communications Team (REACT) Central Luzon.
National ID registration and birth registration were also provided by the PSA, as were free haircuts from the troops of the 3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army, and Public Employment and Services Office (PESO) Tarlac. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) also offered job opportunities through their Job Fair booth, and free body massage was also provided by the skilled therapists of the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) and PESO Tarlac, as well as a brief community-based training on candy making.
The MALAYA Farmers of Tarlac expressed their gratitude and joy for the assistance they received through the peace caravan and their hope for continued support.
The peace caravan para sa MALAYA coincided with the 19th commemoration of the Hacienda Luisita Incident, which focused on peace and the continued freedom of the MALAYA from the CTG as they furthered their collective development.