FROM FORMER REBELS TO ‘FRIENDS RESCUED.’JH Cerilles State College (JHCSC) President Dr. Mary Jocelyn Battung and 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera sign a Memorandum of Agreement for ‘Project Good Life for FRs (Friends Rescued),’ a mental health and well-being program for former rebels. (Photo from 53IB)
The 53rd Infantry Battalion (53IB) and JH Cerilles State College (JHCSC) recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement on 28 May 2021, at 53rd Infantry Battalion (53IB) Headquarters in Camp Maj. David Sabido, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur, to signify partnership for a mental rehabilitation project for former rebels (FRs) entitled ‘Project Good Life for FRs (Friends Rescued).’
“I applaud the 53rd Infantry Battalion and JH Cerilles State College’s recent Project Good Life. The psychoeducation program will be a huge help for the reintegration of former rebels, or rather, ‘friends rescued’ into our society,” Task Force Balik-Loob (TFBL) Chairperson and Head of the E-CLIP and Amnesty Program (EAP) Cluster of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), DND Undersecretary Reynaldo B. Mapagu said.
‘Project Good Life’ is a psychoeducation program for former rebels who surrendered to the 53IB that comes with the theme, ‘Threading the Path to Fulfillment and Authentic Happiness with FRs (Friends Rescued).’ The project takes a holistic approach to improve the mental health and overall wellness of the FRs, as well as address their other rehabilitation needs.
Undersecretary Mapagu hailed 53IB’s intervention program with JHCSC and commended its unwavering support to the Executive Order No. 70 and sustained efforts to the whole-of-nation approach in ending local communist armed conflict in the country.
“Aside from deradicalization, psychosocial assistance is also integral for our FRs to be able to start their lives anew. We want them to also live a life with an optimal state of mental health and overall well-being,” the TFBL Chair added. “Project Good Life is a good example of the government’s whole-of-nation approach to end communist insurgency in our country, and this clearly shows that we can be all united to achieve the peace that we deserve.”
Undersecretary Mapagu also commended 53IB’s collaboration with the academic community to improve the quality of life and general welfare of the FRs. “The convergence of efforts from various sectors is fundamental in combating local communist armed conflict. Rest assured that the government is resolute in sustaining its efforts to achieve the long-lasting peace and development in the country,” he concluded.