TAGBILARAN CITY – A former member of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) who returned to the fold of the law has received livelihood assistance that will enable her to have a fresh start.
Bohol Governor Arthur Yap, in an interview on Sunday, said the livelihood assistance was handed over as part of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the national government which is being implemented by the Department of National Defense, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Office of the President and the National Housing Authority to former members of the rebel group.
Alias “Mariel”, 38, from Carmen town of Bohol, received a check worth PHP65,000 representing the PHP50,000 livelihood assistance and PHP15,000 immediate cash aid last week. She was among the 12 rebel returnees that Yap endorsed for inclusion to E-CLIP.
Mariel was with the rebel fighters who clashed with government troops in 1997 in Bohol and sustained injury in the right arm. She was only 15 years old when she was injured in the encounter.
When she decided to end her involvement in the underground movement, she was given a job in the municipal government and later in a department of the provincial government.
Later on, she was listed as one of the beneficiaries for assistance under DILG-DND Joint Memorandum Circular 2018-01, implementing assistance package for former rebels (FRs) who formerly fought for the CPP-NPA and National Democratic Front and the so-called “militia ng bayan” (MB).
The goal of the joint memorandum circular is to facilitate the mainstreaming of FRs as productive citizens, enhance capacities of local government units and national government agencies and compensate all surrendered firearms.
Qualified as beneficiaries of the program are regular members of the NPA who surfaced from April 3, 2018 and onwards and have expressed the desire to abandon armed violence and become productive members of society, including their immediate family members, or all former rebels who surfaced starting July 1, 2016, as well as those who have been processed but did not receive the full assistance under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program, and members of MB who surfaced starting April 3, 2018.
They are eligible to receive immediate assistance, reintegration assistance, and firearms remuneration.
The benefits and assistance include safety and security guarantees, immediate assistance of PHP15,000, livelihood assistance of PHP50,000, reintegration assistance of PHP21,000, firearms remuneration in the amount that is double the cost valuation of turned-in firearms based on Circular 2018-17 dated July 5, 2018, PhilHealth enrollment and registration to government entities.
FRs can avail of the services of a halfway house while their enrollment to the E-CLIP is being processed.
They are also entitled to healing and reconciliation initiatives that will be the source of psycho-social support for FRs, their families and communities.
Other additional forms of assistance that may be sourced out from partner institutions or agencies will also be extended to them. These may include capacity-building, skills training, provision of shelter legal assistance, employment and medical assistance, among others. (PNA)