Friday, October 12, 2018

Sarangani rolls out expanded rebel reintegration program

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 12): Sarangani rolls out expanded rebel reintegration program

Returning New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Sarangani province can now receive additional benefits and support packages under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

Lizeth Lopez, E-CLIP provincial focal person, said Friday they have begun implementing the expanded reintegration program in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of National Defense (DND).

Lopez said the program will mainly cover rebels from the province’s seven municipalities who surrendered this year.

Under the enhanced program, she said qualified rebel returnees will receive annual enrollment to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. worth PHP2,400, a monthly conditional transitional grant of PHP5,000 for two years, and modified conditional cash transfer benefits of PHP1,400 a month.

She said one of their children will also be given a scholarship benefit of PHP10,000 annually for four years in any state college or university.

“They may also avail of housing benefits worth PHP450,000 for a 44-square meter house,” she said.

For rebels yielding firearms, Lopez said they could receive as much as PHP2 million in incentives, depending on the type of firearm.

She said the returnees will continue to receive the PHP65,000 immediate and livelihood assistance, as well as food assistance from the national and provincial governments.

The other assistance packages are enrollment into the Department of Education’s Alternative Learning System; skills training from the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority; legal assistance from the Public Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice; psychosocial intervention from the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Department of Health; and livelihood projects from the Department of Agriculture.

From January to September, at least 36 former NPA rebels have already surrendered in parts of the province.

The provincial government is currently constructing a halfway house for former rebels in Alabel town through a PHP5 million grant from the DILG and PHP2 million from the DND.

Lopez said their partner-implementers for the E-CLIP are the Sarangani Police Provincial Office, Army’s 1002nd Brigade, and DILG-Sarangani.

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