A total of one hundred and eighteen (118) former rebels who surrendered in the provinces of Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani, South Cotabato were granted a total of P7.6 million worth of financial assistance under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E- CLIP), according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Undersecretary for Peace and Order Bernardo Florece, Jr. said that each of the beneficiaries were provided with immediate assistance worth P15,000.00 and a livelihood assistance worth Php50,000.00 which were granted during two separate awarding ceremonies in South Cotabato region.
“It is very important to provide the rebel returnees with the necessary assistance to give them a kickstart in reintegrating to the mainstream society where they belong,” Florece said.
E-CLIP is locally-driven, managed and implemented program which veers away from the past practice of pre-packaged interventions designed at the national level. Instead, it responds to the circumstances, needs and concerns of former rebels through provision of assistance and seeks to consider their basic rights and situations as men and women.
USec. Florece said that of the 118 rebel returnees, 106 of them are from Sultan Kudarat and 12 are from Sarangani Province.
He added that the beneficiaries are housed in halfway houses/receiving facilities for security measures during the facilitation of their surrender. All four provinces in Region 12 construct their respective halfway houses for this purpose.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Army unit which received the former rebels received P7,000 reintegration assistance under the E-CLIP program.
Under the said program, the Province or Highly Urbanized City (P/HUC) serves as the focal point of authority and management of the integration program to provide more sustainability and consistency.
Aside from USec Florece, also present during the awarding ceremony in Sultan Kudarat are DND Undersecretary for Civil Veterans and Retirees Affairs Reynaldo Mapagu, National Barangay Operations Office (NBOO) Director Leocadio Trovela, DILG XII Regional Director Reynaldo Bungubung, PNP-PRO XII Regional Director PCSUPT. Marcelo Morales, 6 th Infantry Division BGen. Bismarck Soleba, Provincial Governor Sultan Pax Mangudadatu, and Sultan Kudarat 1 st District Congressman Datu Suharto Mangudadatu.
Meanwhile, Florece, Trovela, Bungubung, Morales, and 27 th Infantry Battalion BGen. Roberto Ancan led the awarding ceremony in Sarangani Province.