NPA rebel returnees in Sarangani to receive additional benefits

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 12 Oct) – Returning New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Sarangani Province may now receive additional benefits and support packages under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

Lizeth Lopez, E-CLIP provincial focal person, said Friday they have started implementing the expanded reintegration program in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of National Defense (DND).

She said the program will mainly cover rebels from the province’s seven municipalities who surrendered this year.

The local government received last week the joint implementing guidelines for the program from the DILG and DND, she said.

Lopez said their partner-implementers for the E-CLIP are the Sarangani Police Provincial Office, the Army’s 1002nd Brigade and DILG-Sarangani.

Under the enhanced program, she said qualified rebel returnees will receive annual enrolment to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. worth P2,400, conditional transitional grant of P5,000 monthly for two years and modified conditional cash transfer benefits of P1,400 a month.

Lopez said one of their children will also be given scholarship benefit of P10,000 annually for four years in any state college or university.

“They may also avail of housing benefits worth P450,000 for a 44-square-meter house,” she said.

For rebels yielding firearms, Lopez said they could receive as much as P2 million in incentive depending on the type of firearm.

She said the returnees will continue to receive the P65,000 immediate and livelihood assistance as well as food assistance from the national and provincial government.

The other assistance packages are enrollment into the Department of Education’s Alternative Learning System, skills trainings from the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority, legal assistance from the Public Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice, psychosocial intervention from the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Health, and livelihood projects from the Department of Agriculture.

From January to September, at least 36 former NPA rebels have already surrendered in parts of the province.

The provincial government is currently constructing a halfway house for former rebels in Alabel town through a P5-million grant from the DILG and P2 million from the DND. (MindaNews)