The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), as a member of the National Task Force on Ending Local Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), continues to help former rebels to start their lives anew and return to the fold of society.
The Department’s Field Office (FO) in Region IX conducted a livelihood orientation last August 6, 2020 to former rebels in Zamboanga del Sur who have surrendered to the 53rd Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The orientation aimed to prepare the 54 former rebels for the subsequent provision of livelihood assistance by DSWD under the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).
The former rebels, who are from Districts 1 and 2 of Zamboanga del Sur, are set to receive a total of P1.36 million livelihood assistance grant from the Department.
Aside from DSWD, other national government agencies have extended assistance to the former rebels, including the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) which provided aid through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP). The former rebels also received psychosocial interventions from the Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO).
Under DSWD Memorandum Circular No. 3, series of 2020 or the Revised Guidelines in the Implementation of Executive Order No. 70, series of 2018, former rebels and their families, as well as individuals and families affected by armed-conflict who have been referred to DSWD, shall be provided with interventions that would address their immediate needs.
These interventions include temporary shelter, appropriate assistance under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS), and the provision of protective services, such as house rental assistance, psychosocial counseling, food packages, and hygiene and sleeping kits. They will also be assessed to determine the most appropriate DSWD programs and services to be provided to them, such as enrolment in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), provision of livelihood assistance under the SLP, and Cash-for-Work (CFW) Program, among others.
As one of the members of NTF-ELCAC, DSWD guarantees the implementation of social welfare and development programs and services to address various risks and vulnerabilities contributing to insurgency.