By Jennifer P. Rendon
Dawn of a new, better life.
For former rebels, starting all over again is not too late, especially with the government helping them in their quest for a peaceful life.
On Monday, a former rebel from Calinog, Iloilo received assistance through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
E-CLIP is a government program that aims to help the rebel members of CPP-NPA-NDF and Militia ng Bayan restore their allegiance to the Philippine government.
Through this program, they can be reintegrated back to the community, be with their families, and start over with their new lives.
Alias Princess received a total of P65,000 grant – P15,000 immediate cash assistance and P50,000 in livelihood assistance.
Meanwhile, a former rebel from Dumarao, Capiz has received P10,000 from the Capiz provincial government.
Governor Esteban Evan Contreras handed over the financial assistance as part of the province’s peace initiatives thru the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office-Capiz to aide Capiznon former rebels.
E-CLIP is the flagship program of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration that seeks to effect social healing and national unity through a whole-of-nation approach towards genuine, just, and lasting peace.
It aims to provide social equity to former members of the CPP-NPA-NDF and the Militia ng Bayan to reintegrate them into mainstream society. These benefits do not serve as an end but rather, a means to aid the former rebels.
“Nagapasalamat ako sa nabulig sang gobyerno sa akon. Dako gid ang maabtan sang bulig-pinansyal nga nabaton ko,” Princess said in vernacular.
Brigadier General Marion Sison, 301st Infantry (Bayanihan) Brigade commander, has underscored the importance of E-CLIP for rebels who want to start a new life.
“Sa pamamagitan nito, makapagsisimula sila na maisaayos ang kanilang mamuhay ng mapayapa at may dangal kasama ang kanilang pamilya,” he said.
Sison also called on the other rebels to lay down their arms and be with the government in seeking for real and lasting peace.
“Para po ito sa inyo upang sa ganun ay makasama ninyong muli ng mapayapa ang inyong mga mahal sa buhay. Tuldukan na natin ang 52-taong karahasan na dulot ng terorismo sa ating bansa.” Sison said.
For this year alone, hundreds of rebels and their supporters in Panay Island have already surrendered and their E-CLIP assistance is now being processed.