Army’s Negros First Wellness Program receives P5-M assistance from Capitol

November 7, 2014 5:04 am 

BACOLOD CITY, Nov. 6 — The Philippine Army’s 303rd Brigade based in Murcia, Negros Occidental received a P5-million assistance for the implementation of the Negros First Wellness Program.

The symbolic check was received by Col. Jon Aying, commander of the 303rd IB, from Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson Wednesday during the rites commemorating the 116th Cinco de Noviembre which marked the freedom of the province from Spanish rule.

Through the program, the 303rd IB has established the Negros First Army Wellness Farm at its headquarters in Barangay Minoyan, Murcia.

The two 2.5-hectare lot inside Camp Major Nelson Gerona is producing organic products such as vegetables, livestock and poultry.

Aying said the program is designed to ensure food security, generate basic income and sustainability, especially for former New People’s Army rebels and their families, who had abandoned the armed struggle to live a peaceful life.

Organic farming is one of their non-traditional innovations in addressing the insurgency problem in Negros Occidental, without using guns, he said.

Aying had earlier said they are planning to put up satellite Wellness Farms in the first, fifth and sixth districts of the province with the support of the provincial government.

As Negros Occidental remains one of the provinces where the communist insurgency is still active, Aying said the armed struggle has become an intergenerational practice in some families, and a way of life in a culture of violence.

As a response, the 303rd IB adopted the Wellness Program based on an integrated framework consistent with the peace and development concept of the Provincial Peace, Integration and Development Unit (Pro-PIDU).

The Pro-PIDU, a sub-committee of the Provincial Peace and Order Council of Negros Occidental, of which the 303rd IB is a member, is spearheading the campaign to address the root causes of insurgency in the province. (PNA)

LAP/NLG/EDS

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