Twenty-five (25) former rebels (FRs) have now reaped the benefits of the government’s Arm-to-Farm Program through the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry “Dependable” Battalion (8IB) with an initial harvest of 600 kilos of Adlai rice at the 3-hectare land owned by the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Impasugong, Bukidnon last October 13, 2021.

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In a press release, the 25 FRs have invested their time from planting the seedlings last May to taking care of the crops for six (6) months. Their untiring effort paid off after harvesting ten (10) sacks or 600kg of Adlai rice.

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Beverly M Serrano, a former Political Guide, Sqd 1, Pltn 1, Guerilla Front Malayag, Sub-Regional Committee 2, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee, expressed her appreciation of the program. “Kini nga programa dako kaayo ug katabang kanamo tungod kay nakakat-on kami unsaon ang mga proseso sa pagpananom sa adlai ug nakahatag kini og dugang income kanamo para sa inadlaw-adlaw nga panginahanglanon.” (The program greatly helped us because we were trained how to plant adlai and this also gave us additional income for our daily needs.), she said.

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Meanwhile, LTC Edgardo Talaroc Jr, 8IB Commander said “Kami nga mga sundalo nalipay tungod nakatabang ang programa sa Arm-to-Farm aron adunay mamahimong income ang mga kanhing rebelde samtang sila naghulat nga madawat nila ang tabang nga gikan sa Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP). Ubay-ubay na ang natabangan sa atong programa ug daghang uban pa ang sigurado matabangan niini.” (We soldiers are glad that we are able to help the former rebels through the Arm-to-Farm program as they await for their benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP). We have already helped a considerable number of FRs under this program and more will continue to benefit from this.)

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The Arm-to-Farm Program aims to provide agriculture-based livelihood opportunities for former rebels while they temporarily live inside the military camp. Since its implementation, FRs were able to harvest root crop (kamote), Adlai and corn with PhP 200,000 amount in sales.

photos courtesy of 8th Infantry “Dependable” Battalion (8IB)

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