• Soldiers, civilians hold Davao Oriental ‘Harvest Festival’

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    ZAMBOANGA CITY: Government troops and pro-government militias held the first “harvest festival” in Mati City in Davao Oriental province in southern Philippines, army officials said on Friday.

    Officials said festival was jointly celebrated by Civilian Active Auxiliaries and the 72nd Infantry Battalion.

    Col. Benjamin Madrigal, commander of the 701st Infantry Brigade, graced the festival, which was attended by villagers and local government officials and representatives of various government agencies.

    The festival served as model of improved technology on agriculture.

    “The Philippine Army, particularly the 72nd Infantry Battalion has joined the battle against food shortage and low income of farmers, both being at the very heart of the national poverty issue. Through its companies, the unit combats this problem with an ‘arms to farms’ [community based activities]approach.”

    “The long term effects of a livelihood based approach to the poverty and insurgency problems are yet to be seen, but a livelihood program module that is sound, effective and realistic actualized in military camps and detachments should be a good start,” said First Lt. Benedict Joy Corpuz, the battalion commander.

    He said to enhance the livelihood projects in the command post, the militias were trained on livestock production and management by the Provincial Veterinarian Office.

    Corpuz said an animal shed was also constructed which now houses eight goats.

    “The farm is adopting—the cut and carries method of feeding—and forage and pasture—have also been established to reinforce source of indigenous feeds,” he said.

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