At least 183 former combatants of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) from four areas in the Caraga Region have already received over PHP16.9 million in financial aid through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) of the government.
The cash grant was released on various dates starting June 11 this year, the Department of the Interior and Local Government in Caraga (DILG-13) said during the 4th quarter meeting of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) on Wednesday.
“The bulk of the financial aids were in the form of firearms remuneration and livelihood assistance aimed to help the FRs renew their lives as they reintegrate back to the communities and families,” the DILG-13 said during the meeting presided by Surigao del Sur Gov. Alexander T. Pimentel, the RPOC chairman.
Of the 182 former rebels who received the assistance, 29 are from this city, 22 in Agusan del Norte, 13 in Surigao del Norte, and 118 in Surigao del Sur.
Rebel returnees in Surigao del Sur received the highest amount from June to September this year, totaling over PHP7.1 million, followed by Butuan City with PHP2.4 million.
Former NPA combatants in Agusan del Norte received over PHP1.8 million in livelihood assistance, while over PHP1 million was also released to the returnees in Surigao del Norte.
DILG-13 said that a total of PHP12.5 million was already released to the former rebels from the three provinces and one city as of September this year.
Aside from livelihood benefits, the agency said the former rebels also received remunerations for surrendered firearms totaling PHP4.4 million. (Alexander Lopez, PNA)