Seventy-five former members of the communist terrorist group New People’s Army (NPA), received Php3.7 million worth of government aid under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) on June 14, 2019 at San Agustin, Tandag City, Surigao del Sur. Thirty-eight of them are members of Indigenous Cultural Communities / Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs).
The benefits awarded to the former rebels (FRs) include immediate cash grant worth Php15,000, financial assistance for livelihood and other expenses worth Php50,000, and firearms remuneration based on the valuation of the firearms surrendered, provided by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). The Provincial Government of Surigao del Sur, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) likewise awarded each FR with cash assistance worth Php7,000 and Php5,000 respectively.
Aside from cash support, essential commodities and services such as personal hygiene kits, vegetable seedlings, food supplies, and even PhilHealth Membership Certificates valid for one year were also extended to the FRs by the Provincial E-CLIP
Committee. Moreover, as an outcome of the Profiling and Training Needs-Analysis (TNA) conducted by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Surigao del Sur last June 12-13, 2019, the beneficiaries also received scholarship grants on courses such as heavy equipment operation, shielded metal arc welding, organic agriculture production, animal production, and driving, under the Skills Training and Livelihood Program.
The awarding of assistance was led by Task Force Balik-Loob Chairperson, Undersecretary Reynaldo B. Mapagu of the Department of National Defense, together with Surigao del Sur Governor Manuel O. Alameda Sr.; Vice Governor Eleanor Momo; Engr. Donald A. Seronay, Assistant Regional Director of the DILG-CARAGA;
It was also witnessed by PCOL Francisco G. Dungo, Jr., Provincial Director of Police Provincial Office-Surigao del Sur (PPO-SDS); Col Allan D Hambala, Commander of 401st Brigade; COL Maurito L Licudine, Commander of 402nd Brigade; members of the Task Force Balik-Loob team; and members of the Surigao del Sur Provincial Peace and Order Councils
(PPOC), and regional partner agencies of the Task Force Balik-Loob.
They all welcomed and expressed their appreciation to the FRs who have courageously decided to abandon the life of danger and violence and returned to the folds of the law to rejoin their families.
In his message, Usec. Reynaldo Mapagu reiterated the peace advocacy of the TFBL and said, “Tayo, pare-parehas tayong Pilipino. Bakit naman tayo nag-aaway away? Why are we fighting each other? And the worst part is, why are we killing each other? For what purpose? Pare-parehas lang naman ang ating adhikain at minimithi: Ito ay ang magandang buhay sa isang matahimik na bansa. So, we might as well collaborate and cooperate with each other. Sana, ipagpatuloy natin ito.”
He appealed to active members of communist rebel groups to lay down their arms and rejoin the society, and consequently avail of the array of benefits and assistance offered by the government to not only help establish peace and development but most importantly, alleviate poverty and address social injustice.
E-CLIP is the flagship program of the Duterte administration that seeks to effect social healing and national unity through a whole-of-nation approach towards the higher objective of having just and lasting peace. It provides social equity to former members of the CPP- NPA-NDF and the Militia ng Bayan by devising a different modality of providing benefits and services to the FRs, in order to reintegrate them into mainstream society. These benefits do not serve as an end, but rather a means to aid the FRs in securing a foothold in restarting their lives.
Unlike previous government rebel reintegration programs, the E-CLIP provides a wider array of benefits based on the particular needs of FRs and their families such as financial assistance, housing, education, skills training, healthcare, legal assistance, and among others through a convergence of various national and local government agencies.
The TFBL was organized to oversee the implementation of E-CLIP pursuant to Administrative Order No. 10 of President Duterte. It includes DILG, Department of National Defense, Office of the President, National Housing Authority, and the Office of the
Presidential Adviser for Peace among its lead agencies, and other government agencies and instrumentalities as partner agencies that may be tapped to provide additional benefits and services to FRs. ####