Over 4,000 ex-rebels receive P304-M aid through gov’t integration program

Over 4,000 former rebels are the beneficiaries of P304.43 million financial and other forms of assistance for the past three years under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (Philippine Information Agency / MANILA BULLETIN)

DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said on Saturday that many rebels and militia ng bayan left the mountains after the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was enforced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are “now being processed by the government.’’

“Nung panahon ng ECQ, madami sa mga nasa bundok ay nagsibabaan dahil napag-isip-isip nila na wala ng kahihinatnan ang kanilang patay na adhikain (When ECQ was imposed many of those in the mountains went down as they thought their beliefs will lead them nowhere),” said Año.

The DILG-administered E-CLIP provides each qualified rebel who surrendered immediate financial assistance of P15,000, livelihood assistance of P50,000, and reintegration assistance of P21,000. Firearms remuneration is also given for each surrendered firearm.

Even in the midst of the pandemic, Año said the government has not stopped taking back the former rebels.

Of the P304.43 million in total assistance, P58.845 million was given as immediate assistance to 3,923 former rebels; P121.250 million was livelihood assistance to 2,426 former rebels; P57.217 million was for firearms remuneration of 858 former rebels; and P67.116 million was for reintegration assistance to 3,196 former rebels.

Of the 4,190 E-CLIP beneficiaries as of May 31, 2020, 2,646 were regular members of the New People’s Army (NPA) while 1,544 were militia ng bayan, auxiliary members of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Año said that the government’s efforts of assisting former rebels are heavily concentrated in Mindanao because the bulk of the NPA forces are now there, particularly in Davao Region with 1,035 beneficiaries; Northern Mindanao with 498 beneficiaries, Caraga with 496 beneficiaries; SOCSKSARGEN with 370 beneficiaries; and Zamboanga Peninsula with 159 beneficiaries.

In Luzon, the DILG also granted E-CLIP assistance to 245 beneficiaries in Bicol Region, 203 in MIMAROPA, 174 in Central Luzon, 179 in Cordillera Administrative Region, 101 in Cagayan Valley, 27 in Ilocos Region, and seven in National Capital Region.

In Visayas, there were 349 ECLIP beneficiaries in Eastern Visayas; 121 in Western Visayas, and 72 in Central Visayas.

Under E-CLIP, the DILG also provided 38 local government units with financial assistance of P5 million for the construction of halfway houses which will serve as a temporary shelter for the former rebels while their documents as beneficiaries of the government program are being processed.