MANILA, Philippines – A total of 611 former communist rebels and their families in Dumaguete received P45.79-M worth of financial and livelihood assistance since July this year, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Wednesday.
The DILG said former insurgents were given education, housing, medical, and other social services grants which were deemed “crucial to their reintegration into society.”
On the average, each former rebel was given P75,000 worth of assistance under the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
“We need to reframe our focus on viewing insurgency as purely security and military concern into a much broader social, economic concern and injustice,” interior secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said during the Support to Barangay Development Program (SBDP) Summit at Widus Hotel, Clark, Pampanga.
Under the E-CLIP, an inter-agency task for the reintegration of former rebels was formed, known as Task Force Balik-Loob.
The Task Force will identify regular members of the New People’s Army, spouses, parents, children of former rebels, and militiamen who can be qualified for government assistance.
Assistance include P15,000 per former rebel “for mobilization expenses” while waiting for approval to the program, P21,000 per rebel for meals while in custody of police or military, livelihood assistance worth P50,000 per rebel, support to relocate and secure the rebels and their families, Philhealth enrollment, housing assistance from the National Housing Authority, and modified Conditional Cash Transfer.
In a statement, Abalos advised local government units (LGUs) to collaborate closely with the national government in stifling armed insurrection by giving top priority to initiatives, projects, and programs that are responsive, inclusive, and incorporate the active involvement of different sectors to advance the nation’s peace agenda.
Photo Credit: PTV