DSWD AID. Department of Social Welfare and Development Undersecretary Alan Tanjusay hands over cash to a decommissioned Moro Islamic Liberation Front combatant during the resumption of the Phase decommissioning process in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on Tuesday (Sept. 27, 2022). Some 5,500 decommissioned MILF are set to receive the cash aid during the final phase of the decommissioning, expected to end in November this year. (Photos courtesy of DSWD-12)

COTABATO CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has regularly provided a financial package for decommissioned Moro rebels as part of the Mindanao peace process, an official said Wednesday.

DSWD Undersecretary for Inclusive and Sustainable Peace Alan Tanjusay said the distribution of cash aid for ex-combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is being coursed through the Bangsamoro Transitory Family Support Package (BTFSP).

“Each decommissioned combatant gets PHP80,000 BTFSP and another PHP20,000 as livelihood settlement grant,” Tanjusay said in a statement.

Tajusay, together with DSWD Assistant Secretary for Mindanao Affairs Arnel Buison Gracia, led the distribution of cash aids Tuesday at the resumption of the Phase 3 MILF decommissioning at the old provincial capitol in Barangay Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

About 5,500 decommissioned MILF are to receive the cash aid during the final phase of the decommissioning, expected to end in November this year.

DSWD–Soccsksargen (Region 12) Director Loreto Cabaya Jr. said about 200 former combatants daily are expected to receive the financial package from Sept 27 until November.

Norhata Benito, DSWD-12 normalization program head, said the agency is also tasked with the aftercare schedule to be implemented by social workers.

She said social workers will monitor every decommissioned guerilla to determine if their lives improve after the program and to determine how they made use of the financial aid.

“We call this a re-engagement activity where social welfare workers come and visit the decommissioned combatant and his or her family,” she said.

The decommissioning process of former MILF members is anchored under Executive Order No. 79, which requires government agencies to implement normalization programs that cover the aspect of security, socio-economic development, sustainable livelihood, and political participation within a peaceful society. (PNA)