MANILA – An official of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) called on former New People's Army (NPA) rebels and former violent extremists (FVEs) to think beyond the immediate assistance they received under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) to fully sustain their transformation.
In a statement of the Task Force "Balik Loob" (TFBL) on Tuesday, DSWD Undersecretary for Inclusive-Sustainable Peace and Social Concerns (ISPSC) Alan Tanjusay urged these former NPAs and FVEs to take the initiative and consider other programs available to sustain their reintegration developments to mainstream society.
“Kung sila ay business-minded, sila ay mayroong entrepreneurial drive sa sarili nila para pagandahin ang mga produktong na binebenta o ginagawa nila, mas matagal ang epekto nung Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) (If they are business-minded, if they have entrepreneurial drive to make their products they are selling more attractive, these will have more longer effects on their SLP)," Tanjusay added.
With an improved SLP, he said these former NPAs and FVEs could help themselves, his or her siblings, and other relatives.
Tanjusay, in an interview with “Balik-Loob sa Pagbabago” aired over DWDD (1134kHz) AFP Radio, cited as an example of a people’s organization in Aklan which was once affiliated with the communist movement but later engaged in negotiations and peace agreements, which transformed its members into successful business owners.
These individuals now run a range of enterprises, from a kambingan (goat meat) restaurant to a vendo-gasoline station and coconut oil processing factory.
Recently, the DSWD extended assistance to approximately 700 former Abu Sayyaf Group members, with some of them graduating and becoming qualified beneficiaries of SLP in Jolo, Sulu.
Tanjusay said this success was a collective effort between the government and the former rebels (FRs) and FVEs themselves playing a pivotal role in aspiring for a better future.
As one of the lead agencies of the TFBL, the DSWD is instrumental in reintegrating FRs and FVEs into mainstream society.
The agency offers comprehensive support to these individuals, encompassing debriefing, psychosocial assistance, transportation, food provisions, and social welfare programs such as the SLP and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
Eligible former rebels receive Livelihood Settlement Grant of up to PHP20,000 through SLP, which intends to foster their economic independence.
The DSWD's assistance also extends to skills development, education, livelihood opportunities, employment support, and financial aid, including the cash-for-work program, which provides temporary employment opportunities.
The DSWD also implements moral, religious, social, cultural, identity, and psychosocial interventions, with a strong emphasis on deradicalization programs, promoting reintegration and healing. (PNA)