Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson led the distribution of checks to the beneficiaries, in the presence of Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the Army 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde); Roselyn Quintana, officer-in-charge of DILG-Negros Occidental, and other partner stakeholders at the Social Hall of the Provincial Capitol here.
Nineteen former NPA rebels received a check for P570,000 for immediate and livelihood assistance while six others received P90,000 as members of the Militia ng Bayan (MB).
Two former rebels also received cash assistance amounting to P109,000 for firearm remuneration.
According to the Army, the immediate assistance is a component benefit of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), which provides a complete package of assistance to former rebels who were members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), NPA, and National Democratic Front (NDF) who surrendered to the government as well as their family members.
Also included in the E-CLIP are halfway house assistance, Philhealth enrollment, and medical assistance, education assistance, housing assistance, Modified Conditional Cash Transfer, legal assistance, and healing and reconciliation initiatives.
Pasaporte said this step is just one of the many future endeavors of the local government, military, police, all partner agencies, and stakeholders as a holistic solution employing the whole-of-nation approach.
He thanked the unwavering support of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) to former rebels, whom, he said, were victims of the propaganda of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
This is solid evidence that the local government is sincere in its commitment to allowing rebels to start anew, be able to live normal lives again, and unite with their families, Pasaporte said. He welcomed those who want to lay down their arms and also avail of the government programs.