379 ex-rebs get DILG’s help

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 16 June) – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Sarangani Province has assisted a total of 379 former rebels in the last three years through the national government’s flagship Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP).

Flor Limpin Jr., DILG-Sarangani provincial director, said a total of 66 former rebels from the area were given livelihood cash assistance from 2011 to 2013 by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) through its national CLIP, which is formerly known as the Social Integration Program (SIP).

He said the recipients, who were mostly former members of the New People’s Army, received assistance ranging from P5,000 to P50,000 each depending on their category.

The provincial government of Sarangani, in close coordination with the DILG, has extended livelihood cash assistance to 167 other former rebels amounting to P835,000, he said.

Limpin said these rebels were among those who were not served under OPAPP’s SIP.

The official said the local government is currently processing the release of some P730,000 worth of livelihood cash assistance to 146 more former rebels.

He said the DILG presently leads the release of the livelihood assistance to former rebels in the area in coordination with the OPAPP and the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, which acts as the secretariat.

CLIP reintegrates former rebels into the social mainstream and uplifts their socio-economic conditions to enable them to become active partners in local development.

The program also seeks to contribute towards the achievement of the goal of permanent peaceful closure of all armed conflicts with non-state armed groups.

The program’s protocol covers validation and authentication, immediate assistance, psychological intervention, resettlement and integration.