Gov. Cua welcomes rebel returnee, inks EO on local reintegration process
posted 9-Dec-2018  ·  
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After spending eight years in the mountains with fellow guerillas in the New People’s Army, Ka Andres (not his real nom de guerre) recently surrendered to government authorities and has begun a new life in the mainstream of society under the new rebel reintegration program.

Last Nov. 27, 2018, the 27-year old former rebel turned over his automatic rifle to Governor Joseph C. Cua in a ceremony at the Provincial Capitol Conference Room in the presence of Brig. Gen. Peale Jon Bondoc, commander of the Philippine Army’s 902nd Infantry Brigade, Provincial Director Uldarico Razal Jr. of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and other heads of national agencies and provincial government departments.

The turnover ceremony is part of the Task Force Balik-Loob under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), a centerpiece program of the government’s localized peace process, which integrates and consolidates the benefits and services of all national and local agencies and local government units for former rebels and their families.

In his testimony, the rebel returnee said he was not able to attend school in his native town of San Miguel and was orphaned at a young age. He worked as an abaca farmer before he was recruited into the communist movement.

During the brief ceremony, he received initial P15,000.00 cash assistance from the governor and another P15,000.00 from the DILG, with numerous benefits from key government agency partners in the pipeline.

These include reintegration assistance, firearm remuneration, livelihood assistance, housing, conditional transitional grant, livelihood materials and implements or employment assistance, access to government service, loan and market access, medical assistance, alternative learning system, psychosocial assistance, college tuition and stipend, and legal assistance.

E-CLIP Committee

In congratulating the rebel returnee for his courage in embracing the government and the rule of law, he underscored the importance of the peace and order situation in the development of the community.

“Peace and order in the province is vital in its development and progress. Kung magulo ang ating probinsiya, walang investor na maglalakas-loob na mag-invest dito,” he said.

To signify institutional support for the program, Governor Cua signed Executive Order No. 42, series of 2018, constituting the E-CLIP committee at the provincial level.

Headed by the governor, the committee also includes Brig. Gen. Bondoc as vice chairman, and member-representatives Ma. Rosella Taraya of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, Dir. Razal for DILG–Catanduanes, Senior Superintendent Jonathan Panganiban for the Philippine National Police, and Rev. Fr. Renato Dela Rosa for the Civil Society Organizations.

The committee, among others, shall function to ensure the convergent effort in the delivery of the identified services of the E-CLIP.

The local chief executive also lauded the commitment of agencies in peace efforts and their pledged assistance.

“Siguro this time, dahil localized na ang programa natin, mas magiging effective ito,” Gov. Cua said.

Joint Efforts

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Bondoc assured rebels planning to surrender of their security and safety, along with the dedicated assistance of the police and armed forces and inter-agency support, in their reintegration process.

He also explained the mechanism of E-CLIP, stressing that the program does not only cater to the armed rebels, but also Militia ng Bayan members and rebel supporters. However, he clarified that a validation process is also done before being enrolled to the program.

“Based sa mga interview natin doon sa mga bumaba na, marami pa tayong mga kapatid na nandoon pa na gusto na ring bumaba, kaso hindi nila alam kung papaano at natatakot sila,” he said.

The E-CLIP is a whole-of-nation approach to end the cycle of violence brought by insurgency, he said further.

He urged support from government and private agencies, especially media partners to help in disseminating information on the program.

“We cannot do this without your help,” he stressed.

Also pledging their support for E-Clip are: Dir. Razal for DILG; Dr. Franchette Panti for the Provincial Health Office; Lilibeth Pabico for the Department of Health; Dr. Maria Zaila Romero for PhilHealth; Nelia Teves for the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist; Krizia Elaine Aldea and Salome Panti for the PSWDO;  Elpidio Tuboro for the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); 83rd IB commander Lt.  Col. Tommy Deliva and company commander 1Lt. Danray Mirafuente for the Army; and Supt. Eymard Gomez for the PNP.

E-CLIP benefits

Under E-CLIP, benefits and other forms of assistance given to beneficiaries include safety and security, P15,000.00 immediate assistance, P21,000.00 to defray the subsistence or meals cost, support to relocate and secure the Former Rebel and his or her family, P50,000.00 livelihood assistance, temporary shelter, PhilHealth enrolment, medical assistance package, housing assistance and/or housing unit , modified Conditional Cash Transfer, legal assistance, livelihood materials, healing and reconciliation initiatives, and any additional assistance.

Qualified beneficiaries of the E-CLIP have to be former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People's Army (NPA) and National Democratic Front (NDF) who voluntarily abandoned the armed struggle and opted to become productive members of the society.

Their spouses, partners, children, whether legitimate or illegitimate, parents or siblings are also beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, members of the Militia ng Bayan (MB), who surfaced starting April 3, 2018 shall only be eligible to the following assistance: 1) Immediate Assistance; 2) Reintegration Assistance and 3) Firearm Remuneration

MBs are individuals who have been indoctrinated and may or may not be directly involved in violent armed struggle but when organized can provide mass support to the revolutionary movement of the CPP/NPA/NDF.

The program will cover those who will surface starting April 3, 2018 or issuance of Duterte's order. All FRs who surfaced starting July 1, 2016 will likewise be provided with benefits from the program in additional to the CLIP package they have received. (GO Information Unit, with a report from PNA)


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