Agusan del Norte promulgates integration program for ex-rebels

Published May 31, 2018, 11:02 AM

by AJ Siytangco

By Mike Crismundo

Members of Communist New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) who are willing to go back to the folds of the law will receive financial support and other benefits from the provincial government of Agusan del Norte.

This new development came about after the provincial legislative body unanimously passed Provincial Ordinance No. 481-2018 promulgating the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) for former NPA rebels in the province, and appropriating funds for the purpose.

New People's Army (NPA) fighters in formation in the Sierra Madre mountain range. (AFP/ MANILA BULLETIN)
New People’s Army (NPA) fighters in formation in the Sierra Madre mountain range.

The CLIP seeks to contribute towards achieving permanent and peaceful closure of all armed conflicts with non-state armed groups.

It also aims to facilitate the mainstreaming of former rebels as productive citizens and enhance capacities of local government units (LGUs) and national government agencies (NGAs) in the implementation and sustainability of CLIP.

Under the Provincial Ordinance No. 481-2018, the surrenderee can receive immediate assistance in the amount of P15,000.00 (per former rebel) for mobilization expenses while the enrolment in CLIP is being processed funded by the national government and limited financial assistance from the provincial/city/municipal government unit during the surfacing phase and livelihood assistance from the national government in the amount of P50,000.00 per former rebel.

The surrenderee can also benefit from the safety and security guaranteed by the LGU/PNP in partnership with the AFP from the time they surface and while they are enrolled under the CLIP and admission in the Halfway House and Processing Center to facilitate the systematic assessment, processing, delivery of immediate interventions and development of individual reintegration plans of former rebels, as well as to ensure their safety in the short term.

Under the ordinance, authored by Provincial Board Member Aquino W. Gambe, the program shall also cover regular members of NPAs who have surfaced from January 2011 onwards and have expressed the desire to abandon armed violence and become productive members of society.

The program also extends to the spouses, partners, children (whether legitimate or illegitimate), parents or siblings, if applicable.

The Ordinance further states that they must be certified by the Joint AFP-PNP Intelligence Committee (JAPIC) to be entitled to CLIP assistance. The certification will hold even in the event that the person died while his/her enrollment in the program is being processed. His/her identified beneficiaries shall receive the CLIP reintegration assistance package.

The provincial government of Agusan del Norte, under the leadership of Gov. Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba, is bent on eradicating the number of rebels who are members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the province and maintain the peace and order in the locality.