DILG meets Project Good Life students, distributes personal hygiene kits

Photo courtesy of 53rd Infantry "Matapat" Battalion

The Department of Interior and Local Government – IX (DILG-IX) met with Project Good Life students, called Frieds Rescued (FRs), from the Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) to distribute personal hygiene kits at Good Life Village, Poblacion, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur on Friday, August 13, 2021.

Aside from providing personal hygiene kits, the activity aimed to determine the FRs’ unpleasant experiences while still in the armed struggle, and how these traumatic experiences impacted their lives; know and determine their primary motivations for joining the Communist-Terrorist Groups (CTGs); recommend solutions to the aforementioned issues; and ensure that the programs, projects, and activities respond to the FRs’ needs.

DILG-IX will continue to support Project Good Life for Friends Rescued, according to the DILG-IX team, which is led by Mr. Jose Ruel Trobanos, LGOO VI and OIC, Local Government Monitoring and Evaluation Division (LGMED).

Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, 53IB Commanding Officer, thanked DILG for checking on the FR’s well-being and asked for their and other government agencies’ active engagement and support in 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 launched by the 53rd Infantry Battalion in collaboration with a number of organizations and national government agencies with the goal of translating the findings of an initial strength-based research inquiry among former rebels of the 53rd Infantry Battalion into community extension service.

It’s a need-based program for FRs to assist President Obama’s Executive Order 70, which formalizes the country’s Whole-of-Nation strategy to ending local communist violent struggle.

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