The Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) and the Department of Education (DepEd) IX Regional Office launched the Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program for at least 42 Friends Rescued (FRs) participants of the 53IB’s Project Good Life for FRs (Friends Rescued) and Commitment Signing of Memorandum of Agreement in a ceremony at 53IB Headquarters, Camp Maj. David Sabido, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur on April 27, 2021.
With the theme: “Threading the Path to Fulfillment and Happiness with Friends Rescued (FRs),” the 53IB’s Project Good Life is a Holistic Wellbeing and Mental Health Psychoeducation Program for FRs who surrendered to the 53IB, in accordance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70 Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, spearheaded by Psychotherapist and Registered Guidance Counselor Dr. Moibe Olitres.
The DepEd’s ALS Program for Project Good Life is intended to provide K-12 education to FRs who skipped formal education when they joined the communist terrorist groups.The recent ALS evaluation to determine the FRs’ level of comprehension with the age range of 20-40 years old showed that that they are distributed from elementary, junior, and senior high school levels. However, some need to start from the basic primary level.
The ALS Program for FRs will be implemented by the Mobile Teachers from DepEd Region IX Curriculum and Learning Management Division in coordination with Project Good Life’s Good Life Academy.
Project Good Life showcases Good Life Academy, an experiential learning system designed to provide a school-like environment for FRs. Good Life Academy is the implementation of a research-based Inclusive Wellbeing Psychoeducation Program: Pneuma (spirit) – Psyche (soul) – Soma (body) Holistic Care Perspective for FRs in support of the national government’s Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
“A step closer to authentic happiness, the DepEd’s ALS Program will provide formal K-12 education toward a better future for our FRs,” said Dr. Olitres, Good Life Academy President.
“We are happy to be part of the government’s implementation of E.O. 70 where all line agencies really contribute to the containment of happiness here. We are mandated and we intend to fulfill the promise to provide our expertise in formally educating our Friends Rescued through the Alternative Learning System of the Department of Educations,” said DepEd Curriculum and Learning Management Division Chief Dr. Eugenio Penales who represented DepEd IX Regional Director Dr. Isabelita Borres.
“We are grateful and honored for this program considering this is one of the dreams of the DepEd under the Constitution that states every learners’ right to education will be properly addressed and the delivery of education is to mold the regular and the alternative delivery of education,” said Majarani Jacinto, DePed IX Schools Division Superintendent OIC.
“The province of Zamboanga del Sur is so happy for having the 53IB which initiated this activity for FRs and bring us together in unity to serialize the President’s E.O. 70. Project Good Life is an example of our legacy of dedicated service for peace,” said Provincial Council Member John Regala Regala who represented ZDS Governor Victor Yu.
The ALS launching program was also attended by DepEd IX Regional ALS Focal Person Susan Belido, Good Life Academy Vice President,Marlon Magtira, DILG ZDS Provincial Director Moh. Taha Arakama, Guipos Priest Parish Rev. Mark Anthony Tampos, Guipos Vice Mayor Junevell Oraiz-Lamiing, the DepEd Mobile Teachers, and the 42 FR beneficiaries.
“Project Good Life would be an important part of our FRs’ journey to a better life as responsible and productive members in our peaceful communities. We put premium value to formal education for our FRs who chose to go back to the folds of the law toward a bright future and better world view of building peaceful communities,” 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said.