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MAASIN CITY, March 24 (PIA) -- Secretary Isidro Lapeña, director-general of the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA), in coordination with other concerned agencies, set into motion a special lighting project that aims to illuminate poor, dark households in remote communities.

The Liwanag at Malasakit, Ramdam ang Asenso at Ginhawa (LAMRAG), a Waray term meaning “shining bright,” or “light,” is an undertaking directly related to the whole-of-nation approach to end local communist armed conflict (ELCAC).

“This is under ELCAC’s poverty reduction livelihood employment cluster (PRLEC),” Lapeña said in his message at the launching held at Kuting Reef Resort, Macrohon town, Monday, March 22.

Lapeña said PRLEC is composed of 21 agencies headed by TESDA, and this convergence, along with the Department of Energy (DOE), powered LAMRAG solar lighting project to gain a two-fold objective of addressing poverty and winning hearts and minds of people as a way to fight communist insurgency.

Initial beneficiaries are 63 households in three upland barangays of Maasin City, barangays Bactul I, Baugo, and Matin-ao, areas that are long considered conflict vulnerable with off-on sightings of unfamiliar faces passing by.

During the launching, Secretary Lapeña distributed certificates of commitment to the Punong barangays of these three far-flung villages for the skills training of photovoltaic solar lighting panels, while the materials are to be provided by the DOE.

He was assisted by Lina Sarmiento, TESDA deputy director-general, Gamaliel Vicente Jr., TESDA regional director, and Nacional Mercado, Maasin City Mayor.

“Rest assured we are working very hard to eradicate, to dismantle the CTG in the city of Maasin,” Mayor Mercado vowed in his welcome talk.

A ceremonial switch-on of the photovoltaic power assembly followed right after the signing of commitment of support by Mayor Mercado for the LGU and the heads or representatives of 21 agencies comprising the PRLEC, such as the DTI, DOST, DA, DepEd, SLSU, DENR, BFAR, and PIA, among others. (ldl/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)