Saturday, November 30, 2019

Landbank launches 1st lending program for ex-rebels

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 30, 2019): Landbank launches 1st lending program for ex-rebels

AID TO EX-REBELS. Task Force Balik-Loob chair Undersecretary Reynaldo Mapagu, together with Northern Samar Gov. Edwin Marino Ongchuan, award financial assistance from Landbank of the Philippines to qualified former rebels during the launch of the LBP lending program in Catarman, Northern Samar on Thursday (Nov. 29, 2019). The move is part of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) which provides a wider array of benefits based on the particular needs of former rebels and their families. (Photo courtesy of DND Public Affairs Service)

The Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) awarded on Thursday financial aid to five former rebels in Catarman, Northern Samar with a loan grant to support and enhance their financial capability together with their families.

During the launch of the LBP lending program, as part of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), Task Force Balik Loob chairman and Defense Undersecretary Reynaldo B. Mapagu said he hopes that the loan would help the rebel returnees to put up their own business.

“Tandaan niyo, mismong si Presidente ang nagsabi, na ‘wag niyong gamitin sa pag-inom ng alak o sugal ang mga benepisyong matatanggap niyo sa ilalim ng E-CLIP (Remember , the President himself told you not to use the benefits you receive under the E-CLIP to buy liquor or to use it to gamble),” Mapagu said.

He said the five former rebels and their families are the first ones to receive the financial assistance from the Landbank.

Representing Landbank Visayas Lending Group, Eulalio Lagapa said the financial assistance provided to the former rebels is to be used in funding their livelihood projects, which will help them and their beneficiaries reintegrate into mainstream society.

One of the beneficiaries thanked the government for the assistance provided as they go back to their normal lives.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Government of Northern Samar signed the appointments of nine former rebels who were hired as farmworkers and will receive daily compensation.

The provincial government also distributed food packs to the ex-rebels and their families.

Task Force Balik-Loob and LBP signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to facilitate the lending program as part of the E-CLIP.

Under the lending program, LBP may provide loans up to PHP100,000 to fund small and micro-enterprises (SMEs), and livelihood projects.

The LBP will also conduct loan counseling and financial literacy seminars to the former rebels before the release of their loans.

Ex-rebels, who are over the age of 21 and who have no pending cases are qualified to avail of the loan program.

Those disqualified due to age or have pending cases can designate a family member who will be listed as the borrower in their stead.

Former rebels can submit their loan applications to LBP lending units across the country, together with their proof of identification and certification from the Joint AFP-PNP Intelligence Committee (JAPIC).

“We should all work together and converge our efforts towards ending the local communist armed conflict. Let us stand with our president towards attaining a peaceful and prosperous Philippines free from the scourge of the communist terrorist group,” Mapagu said.

The E-CLIP is the flagship program of the Duterte administration that seeks to effect social healing and national unity through a whole-of-nation approach toward the higher objective of having just and lasting peace.

It provides social equity to former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front and the Militia ng Bayan by devising a different modality of providing benefits and services to the former rebels to reintegrate them into mainstream society. These benefits do not serve as an end, but rather a means to aid the rebel returnees in securing a foothold in restarting their lives.

Unlike previous government rebel reintegration programs, the E-CLIP provides a wider array of benefits based on the particular needs of former rebels and their families such as financial assistance, housing, education, skills training, healthcare, legal assistance, and among others through a convergence of various national and local government agencies.

The TFBL was organized to oversee the implementation of E-CLIP under Administrative Order No. 10 of President Duterte.

It includes DILG, Department of National Defense, Office of the President, National Housing Authority, and the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace among its lead agencies, and other government agencies and instrumentalities as partner agencies that may be tapped to provide additional benefits and services to former rebels.

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