The Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall, Barangay Suklayin, in the capital city of Aurora, gave cash aid to 23 former rebels (FRs) who recently surrendered to the government (December 29, 2020), on Tuesday, December 29, 2020.
Lt. Col. Reandrew P. Rubio, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Battalion, said the activity began at 2:30 p.m. and benefited 23 FRs from the communist terrorist group’s New People’s Army (NPA) and Milisyang Bayan (MB) (CTG).
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) provided P65,000 in livelihood aid to seventeen individuals, while the remaining six received P15,000 in immediate help under the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
“The ECLIP financial assistance given to our FRs will basically use for their livelihood programs. It is also a good start for their daily needs, especially this time of COVID-19 pandemic,” Rubio said. Lawyer Offelio A. Tactac, Jr., DILG-Aurora lauded the former rebels for choosing peace and deciding to return to the fold of the law.
“Ang inyong pagbabalik ay bagong pag-asa. Ang pakikipaglaban ay walang maidudulot na mabuti, kung titingnan natin ang mga bansang nagkakagulo, walang nangyari, walang umasenso sa gera. Kaya tama ang desisyon ninyo na makapagbagong buhay,” Tactac said.
Governor Gerardo A. Noveras of Aurora stated that the provincial government is always willing to assist the surrenderees. He also counseled them to make prudent use of the support they were provided, particularly at this time of pandemic. Noveras is optimistic that the beneficiaries would uphold their obligations to the government and live in peace.
He noted that the DILG, along with the 91st IB and the Aurora Police Provincial Office, is always willing to help.
The DILG is leading the implementation of the E-CLIP, which entitles a former rebel to P15,000 in immediate assistance, P50,000 in livelihood assistance, P12,000 to P500,000 in firearms remuneration, half-way house assistance, PhilHealth enrollment and medical assistance, education, housing, legal assistance, and healing and reconciliation initiatives.
The reintegration aid is being used to cover the costs of subsistence or meals for FRs who have been placed under the protection of government troops while their other entitlements under the E-CLIP are being processed.
E-CLIP is one of the projects of President Rodrigo Duterte’s National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), which was established by Executive Order No. 70. Colonel Raul Siriban, Major Estrada-Battalion Ex-O, and 1st Lieutenant Candidato S Paduman-S7, 91st IB were present at the ceremony.