A TOTAL of 1,859 former internally displaced persons (IDPs) have completed the Balik Barangay Skills Training Program in Patikul, Sulu.

The conduct of the skills training was initiated by the Patikul Municipal Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict (MTF-Elac), in partnership with the Ministry of Basic Higher and Technical Education in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MBHTE-Barmm) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda)-Sulu.

The training beneficiaries in different training areas from the 11 villages of Patikul completed the skills training program under the Barmm Scholarship Program.

The Army’s 11th Infantry Division said in a statement that they underwent the Basic Solar Training, Dressmaking National Certificate II (NC II), Driving NC II, Cake Making II, Electrical Installation and Maintenance, Overhaul Motorcycle, Plant Crops, Prepare and Cook Hot Meal and Plumbing NC II.

"Napakahalaga nitong Technical and Vocational Education sa mga gustong magkaroon ng pangkabuhayan lalo na't sa mga nag balik barangay. Makakaasa kayo na patuloy kami sa Barmm government na susuporta sa mga ganitong programa (Technical and Vocational Education is very important to those who want to have a livelihood, especially to those who have returned to the barangay. You can count on us in the Barmm government to continue to support such programs)," MBHTE-Barmm Minister Mohagher Iqbal said.

The Patikul MTF-Elac, in partnership with the MBHTE-Barmm and Tesda-Sulu, officiates the closing ceremony of the Balik Barangay Skills Training Program held in Taglibi village, Patikul, Sulu on Friday, May 12.

During the program, the MBHTE-Barmm released training support funds and tool kits to the participants in order for them to start anew and support their community's economic development.

Meanwhile, Major General Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of Joint Task Force (JTF)-Sulu and 11th Infantry Division, said it is another milestone for the beneficiaries of the Balik Barangay Program as they have received livelihood starter kits after they were provided with training that will be of great help in rebuilding their communities.

“With these kits and trainings, they will be more ready and responsive in dealing with challenges along the way,” Patrimonio said.

"Malayo na ang ating narating at marami na ang natulungan natin dahil sa BBP (Balik Barangay Program). Makakaasa kayo na ang JTF-Sulu ay patuloy pa rin ang pagbibigay serbisyo sa probinsya ng Sulu (We have come a long way and we have helped many people because of BBP. You can rest assured that JTF Sulu will continue to provide services in the province of Sulu)," Patrimonio added.

The Patikul MTF-Elac supported by the Provincial Task Force-Elac, facilitated the return of the 5,773 former internally displaced families in the 10 villages of Patikul, Sulu through the Balik Barangay Program from February 17, 2020 to February 7, 2022.

The PTF-Elac is Sulu’s version of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. (SunStar Zamboanga)

Source: SunStar (https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1961422/zamboanga/local-news/1859-ex-idps-complete-livelihood-skills-training)