SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – The Department of Trade and Industry Antique Provincial Office will be providing livelihood packages to 20 former rebels (FRs) as they return to normal lives in their communities.
Wilson Alian, trade and industry specialist of the DTI Antique, said in an interview Wednesday the livelihood packages will be distributed to former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) in the province but have now returned to the fold of the government.
“We will be distributing livelihood packages worth PHP6,000 to each of the FRs,” he said.
DTI Antique information officer Lynna Joy Cardinal said of the 20, six FRs will receive grocery items for their sari-sari store business, tools for eight who will be engaging in furniture making, and milled rice and weighing scale for rice trading for the remaining six.
“We are now on the process of procuring the packages to be given to the FRs under our Livelihood Seeding Program – Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay,” she said.
She said the livelihood packages are the commitment of DTI to the implementation of the Executive Order 70 or the Whole-of-the-Nation Approach in Attaining Inclusive and Sustainable Peace.
A total of 28 former rebels in Antique have returned to the government fold, the latest was a batch of six who surrendered on November 6.
Cardinal, however, said she still has no idea if they could provide for the remaining eight FRs since they are now in the process of procuring packages for the 20 FRs who had surrendered in previous months.
The six newly surrendered FRs are from the towns of Sibalom with four, San Remigio and Culasi with one each.
They received PHP10,000 each as aid to individuals in crisis situation (AICS) from the provincial government on November 6.
Meanwhile, Antique Provincial Police Office deputy director Lt. Col. Norby Escobar, in an interview on Tuesday, said the FRs are assured of their protection.
“Don’t be afraid because the police is there to protect and guide you,” he said.
He also assured protection to other rebels who have not yet surrendered to authorities.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Philippines. (PNA)