By MASIDING NOOR YAHYA
June 13, 2019
|A New People’s Army (NPA) fighter. (FB Photo)|
BUTUAN CITY: Twenty-three former communist rebels received financial assistance under the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) during the special meeting of Agusan del Norte Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) here on Monday.
Provincial governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba led the distribution of the E-Clip package of assistance to the former rebels together with governor-elect Dale Corvera and members of the PPOC.
Matba encouraged the former rebels to help the government in the peace efforts in their respective communities.
She promised to assist them in the education of their children. Every elementary pupil of a former rebel will receive P2,000 while a high school student will also receive P6,000, she said.
A total of P2,633,000 was distributed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for E-CLIP assistance and P105,000 from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Financial Assistance for the 23 rebel returnees who decided to abandon the armed struggle.
According to alias “Jakar,” a 25-year old who had been a former member of the rebel group for three years prior to his return to the government, life in the hands of the rebels has no direction.
“We keep on fighting for no cause and are being promised to have a good life. Now that I am with the government, being taken care of by the loving people of the 23 Infantry Battalion (23 IB), Philippine Army, I can definitely start a new life and live peacefully without fighting,” Jakar said.
The 23 beneficiaries can start their lives through the government’s local integration program.
A firearm’s remuneration for the 18 former rebels worth P1,353,000 was also given.
On June 6, the beneficiaries attended the 3-day financial management seminar –workshop conducted by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office and the Philippine Army.
Of the 23 former rebels, four voluntarily surrendered to the 29IB, thirteen to the 23IB, and six to the Philippine National Police.
In the PPOC meeting, outgoing governor Matba who is the newly elected representative of the 1st District of the province turned over the PPOC chairmanship to incoming governor Corvera. (MNY)