Thirteen former rebels (FRs) who surrendered in Guidos, Zamboanga Del Sur were granted immediate cash assistance during the culmination of their Values Formation and Pyscho-Social Activity held on May 29, 2020, at the Executive Function Hall, Provincial Capitol Compound, Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur.
Each FR was given PHP 15,000 in cash and PHP 50,000 worth of livelihood assistance, totaling to PHP 845,000.
This is part of the FRs’ benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) given after the Values Formation and Psycho-Social Activity spearheaded by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) of the province.
Apart from cash aid, the FRs also underwent a series of lectures and seminars spearheaded by various agencies and organizations including the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Agriculture (DA), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Landbank of the Philippines (LBP), among others.
During the ceremony, Department of Interior and Local Government Provincial Director Moh. Taga Arakama expressed gratitude to the former rebels for returning to the government and for turning away from violence.
“We are very thankful that these FRs chose to lay down their arms, be with their families and to avail of these programs by the government,” he said.
Also present in the turnover of cash assistance were Provincial Board Member Dang Mariano representing E-CLIP Committee Chairperson Victor J. Yu.
According to Mariano, Governor Yu is aiming to make the province of Zamboanga del Sur free from the influence of the CPP-NPA.
“The current thrusts of our government aims to deliver basic services to the people and hopefully, or eventually, uproot Communist insurgency,” said BM Mariano.
Meanwhile, Lt. Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, 53rd IB Commander and the Co-Chairman of the E-CLIP Committee, said that the cash aid will be instrumental for the Frs as they find their way back to mainstream society.
“This will surely help our Former Rebels, and we hope that through this activity, they will be able to blend in with the mainstream society with confidence,” said Lt. Col. Herrera.
Herrera also thanked the DILG, PSWDO, and the Provincial Government of Zamboanga del Sur for the support.
Col Leonel Nicolas, Commander, 102nd Infantry Brigade, also commended the Provincial E-CLIP Committee for the smooth processing of the assistance of the FRs.
“The continued active participation and collective contribution of the different stakeholders in this fight against the decades-long communist terrorism brought about by the CNT will pave the way for the further development of the province,” said Nicolas.