BALER, Aurora – A total of 24 former rebels who recently surrendered to authorities were given financial assistance under the national government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
Lt. Col. Reandrew P. Rubio, commander of the Philippine Army’s 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Battalion, said on Wednesday the 24 former rebels received their financial aid during the peace and order council meeting at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan conference room, Capitol building here on Tuesday.
He said the former rebels received PHP65,000 each for a total of PHP1.56 million.
He said the government’s financial assistance is still available for those who are willing to give up their weapons and seek a peaceful resolution towards starting a new life.
“We at the 91st IB are committed to do our part in the program’s continued efforts to aid former rebels who wish to return to the mainstream society,” he said in an interview.
Rubio said through E-CLIP, more rebels are now turning their back on insurgency to start a new and better life together with their families.
He also said under President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70, known as the “Whole-of-Nation Approach” to ending insurgency and achieving peace, the former rebels will have a chance to avail of a housing grant from the National Housing Authority (NHA).
“They will be given an opportunity for skills training and education from Department of Education (DepEd), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), and other agencies—whichever option fit best the former rebels to live normal lives and be productive citizens in their communities,” he added.
E-CLIP provides a complete package of assistance to former rebels who were members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army (NPA), and National Democratic Front (NDF), as well as their family members, who have surrendered to the government to abandon the armed struggle and become productive members of the society.
This is one of the clusters of the “Whole-of-Nation Approach” which aims to address the root causes of insurgencies and other armed conflicts and threats by prioritizing and harmonizing the delivery of basic services and social development packages by the government.
The CPP-NPA, which has been waging a more than a five-decade armed struggle against the government, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)