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MAASIN CITY, March 17 (PIA) -- Former rebels who are now members of local associations successfully elected their officials and board of directors of the Southern Leyte – Tandayag Integrated Peace and Development Workers’ Federation conducted on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at the Municipal Covered Court of Bontoc, Southern Leyte.

Coming from five existing former rebel associations across the province, a certain Gevelyn Aloba, also known as “Ate Abeth,” was elected as president of the provincial federation during the first provincial assembly of former rebels’ associations.

Led by BGen. Zosimo Oliveros, commanding officer of the 14h IB, 8ID of the Philippine Army, five Integrated Peace and Development Workers Association were established in the towns of Sogod, Bontoc, St. Bernard, Hinunangan and Silago which ultimately comprises the Southern Leyte – Tandayag Integrated Peace and Development Worker’s Federation.

According to BGen Oliveros, the provincial federation will soon join in the regional federation of former rebel associations in Eastern Visayas.

Oliveros further explained that their organization came about with the directions of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte through Executive 70 that calls for the whole-of-nation approach in ending the communist armed conflict that includes now the participation of other government instrumentalities in responding to the former rebels’ plights.

He assured to the group of fast government response as the Southern Leyte Provincial Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF ELCAC) is the most active in the region.

“The PTF ELCAC members are actively responding throughout Region 8 and Southern Leyte is the most active of them all,” BGen Oliveros said.

Government line agencies present such as DILG, DOLE, TESDA, DTI, DENR, and DAR all bared their programs and projects in response to their immediate needs presented beforehand.

DOLE Provincial Director Marites Vinas immediately facilitated for the registration of the mentioned associations to their office to be able to get accreditation and avail of their programs.

Newly elected federation president Ate Abeth, as she is fondly called, earlier shared the groups’ desires to establish cooperatives, raise poultry and livestock, get into trading copra, put up groceries for the different associations, among others.

The provincial federation officials, board of directors and business managers also took their oath of office during the same occasion by Provincial Administrator Jason Calva.

Calva also invited Ate Abeth to join in the Provincial Development Council and the PTF ELCAC- PRLEC meetings so that their plans will be incorporated in the provincial plans and get some funds, as well. (ldl/esg/PIA8 SoLeyte)