• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Himamaylan City government, through its City Social Welfare and Development Office, yesterday distributed a total of P250,000 financial assistance to 25 former New People’s Army rebels.
Capt. Eduardo Rarugal Jr, 94th Infantry Battalion Civil Military Operations officer, disclosed that each of the 25 former rebels received P10,000 as part of the DSWD Assistance to Individual in Crisis Situation (AICS) program, that intends to provide immediate support to the families affected by the local armed conflict who are displaced from their homes.
The financial assistance was facilitated by the Himamaylan City government and the 94IB.
Through this intervention, Rarugal said the P10,000 cash assistance can serve as capital in starting a small business to sustain the daily needs of former rebels, while their Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) benefits are being processed.
Under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), he added that former rebels or their qualified beneficiaries shall receive benefits from guaranteed safety and security, financial assistance, subsistence allowance, food expenses while in custody of the receiving unit, travel and mobilization expenses; and corresponding compensation for surrendered firearms.
The program was attended by Mayor Rogelio Raymund I. Tongson, Col. Orlando Edralin, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, Ltc. Van Donald Almonte, 94IB commanding officer, PMaj. Randy Babor, Himamaylan City deputy police chief, and CSWD officer Ever Grace Castro, among others.
In his speech, Mayor Tongson thanked the 25 former rebels for giving the government a chance to regain their trust and confidence, as he also assured them that the Philippine Army, CSWDO and Himamaylan City government will work together to support the Himamaylanons who have decided to return to the folds of law, to live peacefully and be reunited with their families.
Through the collaboration of the different agencies, and help from the villagers who are fed up with the lies and propaganda of CPP-NPA, Col. Edralin said the war against insurgency will soon come to its final chapters.
He also challenged the former rebels to help them in convincing their former comrades to abandon the armed struggle, and submit themselves to the folds of law.*