What’s next for rebel returnees? DAR says it's farming lessons

Published April 30, 2021, 2:37 PM

by Betheena Unite

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) says rebel returnees in Laguna will soon embark on a new mission: learning how to farm.

DAR-PNP SIKAP BUHAY The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) signed Friday, April 30 a memorandum of agreement to provide training for rebel returnees to be farmers. (Photo courtesy of DAR)

Once they become good in their new field (pun intended), the former rebels would eventually be given their own farmland in a bid to give them a fresh start in life.

Such is the goal of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed Friday, April 30 between DAR and the Philippine National Police (PNP). The event took place at Camp Vicente Lim in Calamba City, Laguna.

Dubbed as the “Sition Kapayapaan (SIKAP)-Buhay” program, the pact is a shared community support platform for the rebel returnees, who will be capacitated with farming skills so they may assume their new roles in society. They will be provided with lands to till, as well as farm inputs and machinery.

A parcel of land in Kalayaan, Laguna that have been bought by the PNP as an initial staging or preparatory area for rebel returnees will be developed into a model farm.

The trained rebel returnees will later be transferred to the three settlement areas in Laguna, Quezon, and Rizal where they will be allocated with a piece of land. There, they can apply their acquired farming skills and adopted farm technologies.

They will receive lands that are idle government-owned lands provided by DAR through Administrative Order No.03, Series of 2020.

Willing participants in the SIKAP-Buhay Project are screened by the provincial PNP.

Agrarian Reform Secretary Brother John Castriciones said that through this project, he is optimistic that many rebels would go back to the mainstream, and they would become productive individuals in better living conditions.