P9-M aid released to ex-rebels in Iloilo since 2016

301st IB | File photo

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor 

The Iloilo Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict has disbursed P9.05 million worth of benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) from 2016 to 2024.

The beneficiaries of the program are former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army, and National Democratic Front who voluntarily abandoned the armed struggle.

Since 2016, the task force reported a total of 132 former rebels (FRs) in the province of Iloilo.

The initiative, which aims to support the reintegration of FRs into mainstream society, has distributed benefits which include reintegration assistance, immediate assistance, livelihood assistance, and firearm remuneration.

In the reintegration assistance, the task force has extended P2.73 million to help FRs transition back into their communities and support them on their needs to reintegrate effectively and sustainably.

A P3.45 livelihood assistance has been distributed for various livelihood projects for the FRs while P2.28 million has been released for the immediate assistance of the FRs.

Data also showed that a total of P591,000 has been awarded as remuneration for surrendered firearms.

The year-by-year distribution indicates a significant increase in the number of FRs and the amount of benefits disbursed, with notable spikes in 2022 and 2023.

In 2022, the task force released an assistance worth P1.9 million which then increased to P3.55 million in 2023.

“Monitoring activities are done by the Iloilo provincial government, the Philippine Army, and the (municipal task force) concerned. All the livelihood programs received by the beneficiaries are monitored and guided through seminars and training,” the task force said.

It added that there are no reports that the FRs returned back to the armed struggle after they availed of the package of assistance from the E-CLIP.

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