MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Thursday attributed the weakening forces of the leftist groups because social services are now readily available to former rebels, bringing them new hope and renewed trust in the government.
In an interview, Secretary Andanar said that over 18,000 rebels have already surrendered to the authorities and have been given the appropriate reintegration programs, especially in livelihood, education, and shelter.
“The reason they came down is because they saw that the President is sincere about changes in government, changes in our country,” he said during an interview with Allan Abais on Sonshine Radio Davao’s Kumando 711.
“The reason why these rebels went up to the mountains is because they never saw that chance of hope before, but now they found a new hope knowing that there are changes done by our President,” he added.
According to Secretary Andanar, the reintegration programs offered to former rebels include training and education through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Alternative Learning System (ALS) under the Department of Education (DepEd).
Former rebels (FRs) and their family members may opt to join these programs in order to be more equipped and skilled, which they can use when they seek jobs.
The PCOO chief also noted how the country has moved forward with the accomplishments of the Duterte administration in infrastructure, citing that the government has spent almost 5% of the country’s GDP on infrastructure.
“We always go back to Marcos and talk about these triumphs in infrastructure. Now with the Duterte Legacy, we have what we called the Golden Age of Infrastructure. After this term we will be now referencing President Duterte when it comes to accomplishments in infrastructure,” he said.