By Danilo E. Doguiles
KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, Oct. 28 (PIA) — Financial assistance released to former rebels (FR) in SOCCSKSARGEN Region under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) has reached nearly P7.3 million, an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government here announced recently.
“As of October 22, the cheques distributed to FRs have amounted to a total of P7,288,000,” Josephine Leysa, regional director of DILG XII, reported during the meeting of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) on Friday.
TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña, the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) in SOCCSKSARGEN Region led the RTF-ELCAC XII meeting where heads of the lines of effort (LOEs) reported their second and third quarter accomplishments related to the whole-of-nation approach to stop insurgency as mandated in President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's Executive Order No. 70.
Reporting for the E-CLIP team, director Leysa noted that the DILG has already monitored 159 New Peoples Army combatants and Militia ng Bayan who have returned to the government fold and are enrolled in the reintegration program.
“Of the 159 FRs, 114 have already received complete assistance,” Leysa said. “Those for the remaining 45 are being processed.”
Also, she added, the DILG has downloaded funds to the provincial governments of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani for the construction of halfway houses, temporary shelters for FRs while they are being assisted for enrolment in the program.
These shelters also serve as facilities for livelihood and life-skills trainings, and pscyhosocial and other interventions to prepare them in their eventual return to the mainstream society.
Under the E-CLIP, an FR is assured of safety and security guarantees by the law enforcement agencies; support for relocation for the FR and his or her immediate family; immediate assistance of P15,000 for mobilization expenses while being enrolled to the program; livelihood assistance of P50,000; reintegration assistance of P21,000 to defray subsistence while in custody of the receiving unit and other incidental expenses such as securing birth certificate, identification card and others; and firearm remuneration, the amount of which is double the valuation of turned-in firearm.
An FR will also be enrolled in PhilHealth and may avail of services of other government agencies such as housing from the National Housing Authority, skills training from Technical Education and Skills Development, livelihood assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment and many others. (DED/PIAXII)