Mobile computer lab deployed for lumads in Agusan

Published November 5, 2020, 9:20 AM

by Mike Crismundo

ESPERANZA, Agusan del Sur –The Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID) has deployed its Mobile Computer Laboratory (MCL) van for the educational needs of the Indigenous People (IP) youths and Out of School Youths (OSY’s) in far-flung communities in Agusan del Sur.

MOBILE LAB — 402nd Brigade commander Brig. Gen. Maurito Licudine leads the launching of the Mobile Computer Laboratory for Indigenous Peoples and Out of School Youth in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, recently. (4th ID-PAO, 402nd Brigade, 26th IB/Mike U. Crismundo/Manila Bulletin)

The MCL van is a 40-footer fully air-conditioned container van installed with 21 sets of high-technology computers.

“The deployment of MCL aims to provide basic computer education to the target beneficiaries comprised of identified members of marginalized sectors and communities,” chief of Public Affairs Office (PAO) of 4th ID Maj. Francisco P. Garello, Jr. said. 

It was inaugurated five years ago with the Army’s 4th ID based in Camp Edilberto Evangelista, in Patag, Cagayan de Oro City, in collaboration with Pinoy Batang Bayani Foundation (PBB) and Tuloy Foundation Inc. (TFI). 

The MCL for IP youths and OSYs was launched at the Esperanza National High School of Barangay Poblacion, in Esperanza town, Agusan del Sur province.

Initially, a total of 21 IP youths will undergo the 1st batch of the 30-day training on Basic Computer Education (BCE) which will be facilitated mainly by the 26th Infantry (Ever Onward) Battalion (26th IB). 

The training is in partnership with the local government unit (LGU) of Esperanza, together with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), and Department of Education (DepEd). 

The launching of MCL training program was attended by local officials here, TESDA, DepEd and NCIP officials and military commanders led by 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade commander Brig. Gen. Maurito L. Licudine.

 “This (MCL) is a big help to our IPs and OSYs in Northeastern and Northern Mindanao regions,” Garello told The Manila Bulletin on Wednesday.

The first batch of MCL training was launched in the area of the 36th Infantry “Valor” Battalion in Surigao del Sur province last January 23, 2018. 

The MCL van already catered to more than 1,000 IP youths and OSYs in the municipalities of San Miguel and Carmen of Surigao del Sur, Sison and Gigaquit of Surigao del Norte, and Kitcharao, Jabonga, Santiago, Remedios T. Romualdez, and Buenavista, in Agusan del Norte, which are considered as Geographically Isolated, Disadvantaged and Conflict Affected Areas (GIDCAs).

Northeastern and Northern Mindanao 4th ID chief and Task Force Diamond) commander Maj. Gen. Andres C. Centino said the MCL will be deployed in other areas in Regions 10 and 13.