Quit rebellion, DILG tells communists

Published September 22, 2018, 5:19 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Alexandria San Juan

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has urged communists to quit rebellion and enjoy the benefits of the government’s “Task Force Balik-Loob” in time with the celebration of National Peace Consciousness Month.

DILG officer-in-charge (OIC) Eduardo M. Año (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez / MANILA BULLETIN)
DILG officer-in-charge (OIC) Eduardo M. Año
(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez / MANILA BULLETIN)

DILG Officer-in-Charge Eduardo Año told the Reds to just return to normal and productive living with the expanded assistance of the government’s program for former rebels.

Task Force Balik-Loob, which was created under the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Administrative Order No. 10, series of 2018, specifies additional benefits to former rebels, including housing assistance or housing units from the National Housing Authority.

“With or without peace talks, the government is able and sincere in assisting former rebels and their families to be back to mainstream society safely and conveniently,”Año said.

Aside from the housing assistance, former rebels also get a monthly modified conditional cash transfer after being referred by a Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for enrollment in the PantawidPamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

They also get livelihood materials or employment assistance through referral to government agencies or private companies and may avail themselves of a loan with minimal interest rate without collateral.

Through loan, former rebels may use the money to start a business wherein they will be given market access assistance for their products to be brought closer to customers.

Under the Task Force Balik-Loob, the DILG also taps the Department of Justice through the Public Attorney’s Office for free legal assistance.

While those who want to pursue schooling, beneficiaries may be enrolled in the Alternative Learning System of the Department of Education and be given certificates of completion of elementary or high school education.

Families of former rebels, such as their spouse or children, may also get matriculation and stipend for their college studies.

“The government does not give up on its people from whom its power and mandate emanate. And as President Duterte said, we cannot fight a war against our own people,”Año explained.

Through the expanded benefits of the program, the former rebels are now entitled to medical assistance package provided by the Department of Health (DOH), including physical examination, immunization and vaccination, and support to hospitalization for the duration of enrollment in the reintegration program.

The Task Force Balik-Loob also oversees the implementation of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) which is the government’s flagship integration program for former rebels.