ASUNCION, Davao del Norte, April 28 (PIA)--More than 20 rebel returnees attended the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) Profiling and Reintegration Planning conducted by the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte with the 1003rd Infantry Brigade and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
In an interview, 1003rd Inf Bde commander, Col. Harold Cabreros said the activity would augur well for government efforts to mainstream the former combatants to the society “because they are taught on livelihood , on financial management and family relationship”.
Done at the 60th Inf. Battalion headquarters in Barangay Dona Andrea, Asuncion in Davao del Norte, the activity was attended by 25 rebel returnees, 16 of whom were verified and documented for release of initial financial assistance worth P15,000 while others were still for processing of their profile.
The documentation will have to be sent to the Office of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process (OPAPP) which will provide the financial assistance to rebel returnees given in two tranches of P15,000 and P50,000.
“Makakatulong ito dahil matuturuan sila sa pagpapalago ng kanilang pamumuhay, ng kanilang pamilya pati na sa kanilang espiritwal na buhay. (This can really help because they are assisted in the development of their livelihood, in nurturing their families and even in their spiritual lives.),” he said in an interview.
Aside from orienting the rebel returnees about CLIP and its benefits, the activity included sessions on Spiritual Enhancement and Moral Recovery conducted by Reverend Edwin Santos; on Managing Finances and Gender Equality/Family Enrichment by Tagum Cooperative Chairperson Norma Pereyras; Problems/Needs and Project Identification by PSWDO chief Arlene Semblante; and on Simple Business Plan Workshop by Davao del Norte CLIP Focal Jeffrey Calamongay .
Cabreros revealed that about 80 percent of the rebel returnees processed as recipients of CLIP financial assistance, were indigenous peoples (IPs) who, Cabreros said, were “exploited” by armed rebels.
“Wala sila magawa dahil armado nga. (They were helpless because the rebels were armed). They are thankful that we are able to arrive in their area,” Cabreros said in an interview.
Meanwhile, in a separate interview, DILG Provincial Director Alex Roldan explained that CLIP is a program under OPAPP implemented in coordination with the local government units, DILG, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Verification of claims is done by the AFP while securing the rebel returnees will fall under the Police once they will be integrated back the community. The LGU through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office is expected to provide food provisions to the returnees while the reintegration financial assistance is still on process. The PSWDO is also tasked to visit the reintegrees in their communities.
“The DILG facilitates the release of the support,” Roldan said.
Meanwhile, Roldan identified Tagum Cooperative Chairperson Norma R. Pereyras as the CSO representative to the CLIP Committee organized by Davao del Norte provincial government.
He said the CSO representative is tasked to ensure transparency in releasing the financial assistance as well as render technical assistance to capacitate the returnees in their livelihood and family management. (PIA 11/Jeanevive Duron Abangan)