Concerned over reports that influence of the New People's Army (NPA) has already reached school campuses, Agusan del Norte 2nd District Rep. Ma. Angelica M. Amante-Matba urged the teachers in the province to help the government save the youth from the recruitment of the NPA.
Amante-Matba, who personally visited the remote areas of Barangay Durian in Las Nieves town and Sangay in the municipality of Buenavista on Saturday, emphasized the roles of teachers in protecting students from the influence of the NPA.
She was joined by 23rd Infantry Battalion (23IB) commander, Lt. Col. Francisco L. Molina, Jr., Las Nieves town mayor Avelina S. Rosales, and Romeo O. Approvechar, the school division superintendent in the area.
Late last week, the 23IB reported that 10 percent of students in each school where they conducted information drives expressed positive views on the NPA.
The finding of the Army was based on surveys they conducted prior to the conduct of information drives where students were asked to write in paper their views and impressions about the NPA.
Molina described to the Philippine News Agency their finding as chilling, adding that most of the students who idolize the NPA are those in Grade 8.
The surveys and the series of information drives were conducted this month of February in the municipalities of Buenavista, Nasipit, Carmen, and Las Nieves.
It's not about us but for the future of our children, the youth. If we will not act now, the NPA will get hold of children, turn them into warriors to fight the government, and eventually die in the battlefields, Amante-Matba said.
She also asked the heads of the schools in the area to review the provisions of Executive Order 70 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte that outlines the responsibilities of the agencies of the government, including the Department of Education (DepEd), in the whole-of-nation approach to end local communist armed conflict.
Teachers, Amante-Matba said, must be informed by the roles of the DepEd in the unified efforts to end local communist conflicts in their respective schools and communities.
Convergence of efforts is necessary to effectively defend school children and the youth from the influence of the NPA, Amante-Matba added.
GOV'T CAMPAIGN. Lt. Col. Francisco L. Molina, Jr. (standing, front) of the 23rd Infantry Battalion of the Army joins Agusan del Norte 2nd district Rep. Ma. Angelica M. Amante-Matba in a visit to Sangay National High School in Buenavista town on Saturday (February 15). Molina asked the teachers to inform the students on how the government system functions and the implementation of programs and services to counter the lies being spread by the New People's Army. (PNA photo by Alexander Lopez)
EO 70 orientation
Molina also expressed dismay last week upon knowing that a number of teachers have no idea about EO 70, especially those assigned in schools where the Army conducted the information campaigns.
During the activity on Saturday, teachers were also oriented about EO 70, including the tasks and functions of every agency of the government, including the Army and the police.
A total of 84 high school teachers, including the non-teaching personnel, joined the activity on Saturday.
The attendees included 15 teachers from Durian National High School and 15 from Casiklan National High School in Las Nieves, 26 teachers from Sangay National High School and 28 from Guinabsan National High School in Buenavista town.
Tell the students that we have a government that is functioning and rendering services to the people. The students must know the functions of the local governments and the agencies. They must know that the government has already implemented programs, projects, and services in the forms of school buildings, health centers, roads, bridges, and other support services for the farmers, the indigenous peoples, and other sectors, Molina said.
He added that the NPA is telling lies to the children and the youth, by saying that the government has done nothing to its people.
This is false. The children must be informed on how the government system works and how the programs, projects, and services are implemented. They must understand the government system to shield them from the lies of the NPA and prevent them from being recruited, Molina said.
Source: Philippines News Agency