The Department of Interior and Local Government – IX (DILG-IX) met with the Project Good Life students, called Friends Rescued (FRs), of the Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) to distribute personal hygiene kits at Good Life Village, Poblacion, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur on August 13, 2021.
Aside from giving personal hygiene kits, the activity also aimed to determine the FRs’ negative experiences while still in the armed struggle, and how these negative experiences affected their lives; know and determine their primary motivations in joining the Communist-Terrorist Groups (CTGs); recommend solutions to the said issues;
and ensure that the programs, projects, and activities respond to the FRs’ needs.
The DILG-IX team, led by Mr. Jose Ruel Trobanos, LGOO VI and OIC, Local Government Monitoring and Evaluation Division (LGMED), said that DILG-IX will continue supporting Project Good Life for Friends Rescued, further encouraging the FRs to study hard.
53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera expressed his gratitude to DILG for checking the FR’s wellbeing, asking for their and other government agencies’ active participation and support to Project Good Life.
“Your 53rd IB and your Army remain committed to holistically prepare our Friends Rescued in their transition to mainstream society,” said Lt. Col. Herrera.
“The 53IB extends the function of the Halfway House: originally intended to be just a home for FRs, it now stands as a makeshift school for our Friends Rescued so we can better prepare them for the challenges of life that they may face after graduating from here,” Lt. Col. Herrera added.
Project Good Life for Friends Rescued (FRs) is an inclusive wellbeing psychoeducation program initiated by 53IB in partnership with various organizations and national government agencies that aims to translate the result of initial strength-based research inquiry among former rebels of the 53rd Infantry Battalion to community extension service.
It is a need-based program for FRs to support Executive Order 70 signed by the President which institutionalizes the Whole-of-Nation approach to end local communist armed conflict in the country.