BACOLOD CITY – Some eight residents of Barangay Pinapugasan in Escalante City, Negros Occidental have been identified as beneficiaries of PHP1 million worth of consumer store package under the Department of Labor and Employment Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP).
As part of the program, the recipients, together with their village officials, attended a consultation-dialogue facilitated by the Philippine Army’s 79th Infantry Battalion (79IB) together with the Local Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (LTF-ELCAC) and city’s Center for Collaborative Solutions (CCS)at the city hall on June 4
First Lt. Dansan Camua, civil-military operations officer of 79IB, told the Philippine News Agency on Monday that the beneficiaries have been victims of the exploitation of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in northern Negros for years.
They took an oath and affirmed their commitment and allegiance to support the government in its campaign to end insurgency, and obtained certificates from the LTF-ELCAC to complete the documentary requirements, he said.
Barangay Pinapugasan is one of the 14 insurgency-cleared villages in Escalante identified to receive an assistance of PHP20 million each under the national government’s Barangay Development Program, a hallmark program of the National TF-ELCAC with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-prone communities.
Lt. Col. Jay Javines, commanding officer of 79IB, acknowledged the DOLE-Negros Occidental Field Office in extending livelihood assistance through the DILEEP to former insurgency-affected communities, and the Escalante City TF-ELCAC and the CCS for the initiatives to achieve lasting peace and development in northern Negros.
“As we experience a peaceful environment, we can expect an abundance of government programs and projects. The Armed Forces will always be a reliable partner to the local government units and national government agencies in bringing basic social and economic services to Negrenses,” he added.
DOLE-Negros Occidental head Mary Agnes Capigon said the group of recipients from Escalante City are the first DILEEP beneficiaries in northern Negros.
“We are committed to fund the project,” Capigon said as she discussed the submission of complete documentary requirements to fast track the agency’s delivery of livelihood projects and employment opportunities.
Mayor Melecio Yap Jr. said government programs like the DILEEP will not only help in the livelihood of his constituents, but will also protect them from the deceptions of the communist-terrorist group and reestablishing connections with their former allies.
“The transparency of the government programs is remarkable and highly- appreciated by everyone. There is no ground for the people of Escalante to be victimized again by the human rights abuses of the communist-terrorist perpetrators,” he added. (PNA)