By Jennifer P. Rendon
Ten former rebels (FRs) received financial assistance through the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP)-Committee of Iloilo.
They formally received the grant in a ceremony held at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol in Iloilo City on Dec 7, 2022.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Iloilo provided a total of P650,000 cash under the E-CLIP Package Assistance.
Governor Arthur Defensor Jr., chairman of the E-CLIP-Iloilo Committee, led the awarding of P65,000 cash aid to each rebel.
Brigadier General Marion Sison, Philippine Army’s 301st Infantry Brigade, said the ceremony is just more about giving financial assistance to those who have decided to abandon the armed struggle in order to start a peaceful life with their families.
Aside from cash assistance, rebels will also receive training from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Meanwhile, Sison allayed fears that those who will surrender will suffer retribution from their former comrades.
He said that the government gives protection to surrenderers.
From 2020 until now, not one surrenderer was killed or harmed.
It was gathered that from July until early November of 2022, a total of P45.79 million in financial and livelihood assistance were granted to 611 FRs.
Aside from livelihood assistance, the E-CLIP assistance also covers education, housing, medical, and other social services that are deemed necessary for their reintegration into mainstream society.