From the Philippine Information Agency (Feb 12): NPAs surrender to the 34th IB, Philippine Army
A member of the New People’s Army (NPA) and three NPA Unit Militia members operating in Northern Samar surrendered to the 34th Infantry (Reliable) Battalion on February 7 and February 8, 2014 respectively.
According to a report from the 8th Infantry Division, the surrenderee was just identified by an alias due to security concerns.
One alias Macky/Baba, a regular NPA member surrendered to the 34th Infantry Battalion bringing along a .22 caliber pistol. Macky/Baba said he surrendered due to the hardship and difficulties he experienced inside the rebel movement.
On the other hand, the Commanding Officer of the NPA Unit Militia based at Brgy Malidon, Gamay, Northern Samar with two members also surrendered to the 34th IB through its Bayanihan Team Operations in the barangay.
Under the Local Social Integration Program of Northern Samar Province, an NPA surrenderee will receive Php 10,000.00 as immediate assistance and Php 30,000.00 as livelihood assistance. The surrenderees will be receiving their benefits upon completion of the documentation of their surrender.
“The surrender of the NPA personalities depicts the general sentiment of the people in communities where NPAs have influence, but given the chance to choose between the path to peace and violence, NPA rebels will choose peace. With the program that Northern Samar is implementing, we are looking at more NPA rebels to return to the mainstream and contribute in the nation’s march to peace and progress,” said Lt Col Rodrigo Ilustrisimo, the Commanding Officer of the 34th IB.
“This is our first time to be here and we wish to be updated on various programs that the Sajahatra are doing now” said Ferrer.
Hisham Abdulaziz, Livelihood Component Community Organize updated the visitors on the livelihood component of Sajahatra program in the Central Mindanao Region.
“For the moment, only the CLNAP (Community Livelihood and Needs Assessment Planning) is the only program that has been completed. They were conducted at Baranggay Tariken, Sultan Mastura, Maguindanao and Buliok, Pikit, North Cotabato”, said Abdulaziz.
The CLNAP according to Abdulaziz aims to assist in the determination of appropriate livelihood interventions for the beneficiary communities. Others programs were likewise explained by Abdulaziz such as the TESDA skills training program which is in the implementation stage.
However, Farm to Market Road (FMR), Fish Landing, Cash for Work (CFW) are has not taken off. “Maybe you can accompany us and visit these sites one of these days” said Ferrer. The SB officials who were present expressed their willingness to accompany the delegation of Prof. Ferrer.
In the same conference, the Health Program Component also provided the visitors updates on the Health programs. Yaksani Abas, the Health Component Community Organizer of Central Mindanao said “At present, the Philhealth beneficiary program made tremendous accomplishments in assisting sick Moro, Lumads and settlers. Out of the 11,000 Philhealth Beneficiaries all over Mindanao, 1000 of them are from the Central Mindanao region”.
“Positive feedbacks were received from those who have availed the PhilHealth program under SB because of the “No Balance Billing” or NBB system with beneficiaries incurring zero balance from their hospitalization expenses in government hospitals, added Abas.
Panel member Yasmin Busran-Lao asked “How this PhilHealth can be availed of?” Mr. Abas explained that for the walk-in beneficiaries they only need to bring an endorsement letter from the office or group where they belong.
Lao also asked about the differences between this type of Philhealth Program with other Philhealth programs? Mr. Abas clarified that there are no differences between the two.
The Regional Coordinator of Regional Project Management Team, Central Mindanao Region, Farouk U. Midtimbang, supplemented additional information about the program and others matters with regards to Sajahatra Bangsamoro.
On his part, Panel member Senen Bacani asked about the effectiveness of CLNAP interventions in terms of livelihood. Midtimbang replied that the Thematic Mapping used for the identified sites for the SBP was already used by the BDA in partnership with the Mindanao Land Foundation (MinLand) funded by the World Bank as one of the effective tools in gathering data in which the intervention will correspond to the needs of the community.
Sites for Cash for Work (CFW) and Daycare Center (DCC) and Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) under DSWD; National Greening Program under DENR and Rural Health Unit under DOH were already identified. Midtimbang is optimistic that the program can be sustained throughout its implementation period.
The GPH Chief negotiator said before saying goodbye, “Maybe we are from GPH and you are from MILF but now we are one”.