Thirty-seven Friends Rescued (FRs) alumni of the Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion’s (53IB) Project Good Life graduated from the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Alternative Learning System (ALS) in a Graduation and Completion Ceremony held on July 29, 2022, at San Miguel Municipal Gymnasium, San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur.
The ALS is a parallel learning system in the Philippines that provides opportunities for out-of-school youth and adult (OSYA) learners to develop basic and functional literacy skills, and to access equivalent pathways to complete basic education.
In a statement, 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said this marks a new beginning in the lives of the FRs.
“Congratulations to all of you [FRs]. This is another milestone in your lives. Remember what you have learned and be responsible and proactive citizens of our society,” said Lt. Col. Herrera.
“With this, you are now more ready and more equipped to hurdle the challenges that lie ahead of you,” he added.
The momentous event was graced by Dr. Majarani M. Jacinto, Schools Division Superintendent, Zamboanga del Sur; Dr. Alma D. Belarmino, PSDS and Division ALS Focal Person; Dr. Veronica D. Gallardo, PSDS of San Miguel District; Dr. Marites G. Abad, PSDS of Guipos District; Dr. Vernon Sotero M. Fernandez, PSDS of Lapuyan District; Dr. Juvy Tan Empalmado, PSDS of Margosatubig District; Dr. AMbert S. Saavedra, PSDS of Vincenzo Sagun District; Dr. Osias B. Andus, EPS II/Cluster 4 ALS Focal Person; 53IB Executive Officer Cpt. Bahnarin Camsa; and 53IB Project Good Life Officer 1Lt. Niel Kim Garcia.
The ALS for FRs was conducted through the convergence and collaboration between 53IB and DepEd during the implementation of Project Good Life, the Battalion’s deradicalization program.
It 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 FRs of 53IB to community extension service.