Seventeen former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who voluntarily surrendered to the Philippine Army’s 26th Infantry “Ever Onward” Battalion (26IB) have recently received cash assistance amounting to P10,000.00 each from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development (PSWD) Office held at the PSWD Office, Patin-ay, Prosperidad, this province.
The PSWD released the cash assistance as part of the livelihood program under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) which is designed to provide livelihood benefits for the former members of the Communist Party of the Philippine – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and Militia ng Bayan (MB) to restore their allegiance to the Philippine government.
Aside from the cash assistance, the FRs also received food packs and goods. “Dako kaayo akong pasalamat tungod sa sunod sunod nga benepisyo nga among nadawat gikan sa gobyerno. Kining maong kantidad daku na kaayo ug gikatabang sa among pamilya aron kami maka sukad sa among pag plastar sa among bag-o nga kinabuhi (I’m thankful for the benefits provided to us from the government. This amount could already help our family start a new life),” alias Jack said.
The 26IB under the command of Lt.Col. Reynald Romel A. Goce, in collaboration with the PSWD led by Razel Montemor facilitated the enrollment of the FRs to the E-CLIP which will cover their reintegration, immediate, livelihood, educational and housing benefits. “We are committed to help and assist the needs of our brothers and sisters who went back to the fold of law in their new beginning. The government will help you in providing what you need to start a new life,” said Montemor.
Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Goce expressed his gratitude to the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) in its active and unending support in implementing the Executive Order No. 70. “The PTF-ELCAC of Agusan del Sur is exhibiting its good character by showing full commitment in implementing the EO70. As our peace partners, we are glad working with the Provincial Government of ADS in attaining lasting peace in our province,” he said.
“The government is more than willing to assist those who want to come back in the folds of law. Once they surrender, we will be providing them the government programs and initiatives that would help them in re-building a more peaceful life together with their loved ones,” Goce ended. (2Lt. Cecille Tappa, acting CMO, 26IB/PIA-Agusan del Sur)