The recipients consisting of two NPAs and 14 MBs who have returned to the folds of the law last quarter of last year, received government assistance during a simple ceremony here facilitated by the local government unit, Department of Interior and Local Government, and other government offices.
Ka Cindy and Ka Iyung (not their real names) received each a total amount of P65, 000 while the 14 MBs were granted P15, 000 each.
Joseline Niwane, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer (PSWDO), explained that the Php50, 000 was livelihood assistance while Php.15, 000 was for immediate assistance.
The two former rebels were happy with their new-found freedom after they were captured/rescued in November last year in an encounter. They said they will use the money to start a new business.
Lt. Col. Narciso Nabulneg, Jr., Commanding Officer of the 54th Infantry Battalion, said that this only proves the sincerity of the government in implementing its localized peace talk and integration program for the former rebels through the concerted efforts of all government offices and LGUs.
“The 54th IB is much willing to help in facilitating your surrender to have a normal life in the mainstream society. To the remaining NPAs in the provinces of Ifugao, Mt. Province, Benguet and Nueva Vizcaya, it’s time to embrace the government’s program and be a part of the nation building as what your other comrades did,” Nabulneg said.
E-CLIP is locally driven, managed and implemented to provide more sustainability and consistency. It veers away from the past practice of pre-packaged interventions designed at the national level.
The program responds to the circumstances, needs and concerns of former rebels through the provision of assistance and seeks to consider their basic rights and situations as men and women. (JDP/MBL- PIA CAR, Ifugao)
By Marcelo B. Lihgawon