IMPASUGONG, Bukidnon, Nov. 8 --Fifty former rebels who surrendered to the 8th Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army received assistance from the government amounting to Php2,754,800 under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP.
The awarding of E-CLIP assistance was held Friday, November 8, inside Camp Osito Bahian in Impalambong, Malaybalay City.
It was graced by representatives from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 10, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office 10, Bukidnon Provincial Police, and Philippine Army who formally welcomed the former rebels to renew their lives.
Couple Dival and Jenecel who brought their M16 Rifles and received assistance worth Php400,000 thanked the government for giving them a chance to live a normal life.
They said they are very fortunate for being among the E-CLIP recipients as the assistance will help them have a fresh start together with their two children.
E-CLIP is one of the flagship programs of the Duterte administration that seek to address social healing and national unity towards the higher objective of having a just and lasting peace.
It aims to facilitate the mainstreaming of former New People's Army (NPA) rebels and Militia ng Bayan as productive citizens in the respective localities.
Ms. Yvette Tolentino-Sunga, DILG-10 Assistant Regional Director called on the recipients to give importance to the cash assistance they have received.
"Please use your money wisely. That is not a payment for your surrender but assistance from the government to help you start a new life. The E-CLIP is not going to be forever," she said.
Aside from the cash assistance, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) also provided skills training to prepare them to start a life outside the armed communities.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Illana, commanding officer of the 8th Infantry Battalion said the unit is still open to accept and help NPA members of the Sub-regional Committee 1 and 2 of the North Central Mindanao Regional Command who want to surrender and avail of the ECLIP. (8th IB/PA)