CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – A total of 222 former rebels in Northern and Central Luzon received PHP15.9-million financial assistance through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) last year.
This is apart from the other benefits offered by different government agencies such as the “Pangkabuhayan Package” from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE); educational scholarship offered by the Department of Education (DepEd); skills development training offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and housing assistance from the National Housing Authority (NHA).
E-CLIP is a flagship program of the Duterte administration that seeks to address social healing and national unity toward the higher objective of attaining just and lasting peace.
The program, which is closely supervised and monitored by Task Force Balik-Loob, aims to provide social equity to former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army- National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and the Militia ng Bayan to help reintegrate them into mainstream society.
Defense Undersecretary Reynaldo B. Mapagu, who is also the chairperson of the Task Force Balik-Loob (TFBL), said on Tuesday during a press conference held at the Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) headquarters in Camp Aquino, Tarlac, thanked the Nolcom for its support to the implementation of the program.
“Your steadfast commitment to support the implementation of E-CLIP is a testament of how serious Northern Luzon Command in defeating the communist terrorists in your area of operation,” Mapagu said.
He asked the men and women of Nolcom to continue performing their duty, even if there is a problem besetting the country.
“We must do our share of good governance and use it as the basis of our approach in defeating the communist terrorists in this part of the country,” he added.
Lt. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo B. Burgos Jr., Nolcom commander, for his part, cited the importance of E-CLIP “in weakening and eventual dismantling of the communist terrorist group in our area of operation.”
“With this principle, continuous improvement, progressive change, Nolcom will sustain its efforts and will continue finding innovative ways in support to the implementation of the program,” Burgos said.
He expressed confidence that “more terrorists will surrender in the coming days due to the prevailing demoralization across their ranks brought about by the diminishing support of the community, as well as the lingering fear in their minds brought about by the neutralization of key personalities in their group.” (PNA)