The Philippine News Agency (May 15): 14 ex-NPA rebels in SoCot get livelihood aid
Some 14 former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels received nearly PHP1 million in livelihood assistance through the government’s flagship reintegration program.
South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said Tuesday the beneficiaries were among the former rebels from the province who qualified for the livelihood and support grants under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP).
She said each returnee received PHP50,000 to PHP85,000 in financial assistance from the provincial government and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The local government facilitated the release of the grants in a ceremony held at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall.
“This only shows that the government is serious in helping our former rebels as they lead normal lives with their families,” the governor said.
Under the program, each returnee stands to receive an initial PHP15,000 as immediate assistance, and a separate financial assistance of PHP50,000 for their chosen livelihood projects.
On top of these, the provincial government extends an augmentation assistance of PHP20,000 for each beneficiary.
CLIP reintegrates former rebels into the social mainstream and seeks to uplift their socio-economic conditions to enable them to become active partners in local development.
The program seeks to contribute in the achievement of the goal of permanent peaceful closure of all armed conflicts with non-state armed groups.
Grace Rodel, South Cotabato’s program coordinator for rebel returnees, said the beneficiaries were among the 18 former NPA rebels that they endorsed earlier this year for the assistance.
She said the processing of the assistance for the four other returnees is still ongoing.
The returnees, who surrendered to government troops last year, were all residents of South Cotabato but some had enlisted NPA units operating outside the province, she said.
Last Friday, two more NPA rebels from the province surrendered in Sarangani Province and are set to undergo profiling for inclusion into the CLIP.