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PIA Press Release

41-IB chief says military veering from military adventurism, now more into economic activities

by Maritess B. Beņas

LAGANGILANG, Abra (2 October) -- A military official here assured that there will be no more military adventurism as the soldiers have learned their lesson, and are instead concentrating their efforts on assisting the people in economic activities.

Lt. Col. Raul V. Bautista, commanding officer of the 41st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army here said there are no critical issues today that need military initiatives when asked to comment on the Thai experience of the latest military takeover there. He said soldiers are cautious about being used by certain groups or individuals since they realized that they and their families alone would suffer the consequences if ever they join again in any coup d etat.

Bautista said his unit is now occupied providing assistance to the economic projects of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographic Units Auxiliary Services(CAFGUs) in the province aimed to augment their meager subsistence allowances.

The Battalion sponsored the second of the series of training for the CAFGUs in agriculture technology last September 26, 2006 at the Battalion Headquarters, this time on technology of tissue-cultured banana production. Research Director Helen Ato of the Ilocos Sur Polytechnic State college of Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur conducted the training.

The CAFGUS earlier underwent a training on coconut production.

The musa sapienta, locally known as lakatan was introduced for propagation because of its high-eating quality and longer shelf-life to address the problem of transporting the produce from the farms to the market, and it bears fruit within a period of 8 months after planting.

The banana is intercropped with the coconuts which will bear fruit only after five years. This way, the CAFGUs would have a ready source of regular income while waiting for their coconuts to start bearing fruit.

The banana plantation project undertaken in all the 11 CAFGU detachments in the province and will have the same terms and conditions as the coconut production as stipulated in the Memo of Agreement with the landowners.

Meanwhile, the officers of the CAFGU detachments had a general meeting at the office of the Provincial Cooperative Development Office last September 27 to finalize their plans of action regarding their formation into individual cooperatives. The PCDO under Serafin Alzate had been conducting a series of seminar-workshops on cooperative development since last month to assist the CAFGUs. (PIA-Abra) [top]

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