DSWD7: P1.6M in aid already given to ex-rebels in CV
By Stacey Marie Baladya
CEBU CITY, Dec. 9 (PIA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 7 revealed that around P1.6 million worth of financial and livelihood assistance has already been extended by their office for rebel returnees.
Speaking during the recent Kapihan sa PIA forum in Cebu, DSWD-7 Social Welfare Officer V Aileen Cuevas said DSWD provides social integration packages for rebel returnees.
This includes a livelihood aid package amounting to P50,000, immediate assistance package of around P15,000, as well as firearms remuneration.
Majority of the beneficiaries of the said assistance were from Bohol province where 25 former rebels were given P600,000 worth of assistance in the past year.
In Negros Oriental, where the government's anti-insurgency efforts in the region are currently focused due to insurgency in identified areas in the province, around six rebel returnees have already benefited from DSWD's financial assistance, according to Ma. Rosana Coritico, DSWD-7 provincial coordinator for Negros Oriental.
DSWD has also been implementing the PAMANA (Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan) program to re-integrate rebels into the mainstream society.
The Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas has identified over 40 barangays to be given P300,000 each worth of livelihood assistance.
The said barangays are areas identified to be affected by armed hostility.
The Kapatiran program, also by DSWD, also extends ssistance for rebel returnees.
As of this writing, 61 profiled Kapatiran members in Central Visayas who heeded the government's call to give up their armed struggle were granted P50,000 each.
Cuevas said their DSWD-7 currently still has around P2 million in standby funds ready to be given as financial and livelihood assistance for former rebels who wish to return to the fold of the law.(smb/PIA7)