P23M distributed to ex-RPA-ABB members

(Photo courtesy of 303rd IBde)

By: Dolly Yasa

Bacolod City – 473 former combatants of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade received P50,000 each in livelihood assistance from the government through its  Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.

A total of P23.65 million was distributed by Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Carlito Galvez to former RPA-ABB members who now make up the Kapatiran para sa Progresibong Panlipunan at the Nature’s Village Resort in Talisay City, Negros Occidental.

Galvez said they consider the peace agreement with RPA-ABB Tabara Paduano Group as a model for peace engagements with other rebel groups in the country.

He also said that the P50,000 livelihood assistance to each member of the defunct RPA-ABB Tabara Paduano Group is on top of the P25,000 financial assistance they got during their demobilization in September this year at Camp Macario Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz.

Galvez said the Livelihood Settlement Grants to the former rebels is part of the government’s commitment to provide them with socio-economic interventions as they can live normal and peaceful lives with their families.

The disposition of firearms and demobilization of Kapatiran members form part of the agreements in the Clarificatory Implementing Document signed by the group and the Philippine government on July 19 towards the completion of the commitments in the year 2000 peace deal.

It also includes the training of 267 members as Community Defense Unit (CDU) members.

Galvez said that about 300 Kapatiran members have also been employed as forest rangers of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, aside from 267 CDU members who will protect their respective communities from attacks of the New People’s Army.

Aside from financial and livelihood assistance, the government also provides Kapatiran members with housing units, farm-to-market roads, among other infrastructure projects, health services and educational opportunities.