Monday, 21 October 2019

FRs’ halfway house rising in Sarangani

ALABEL, Sarangani (March 20, 2019) - The construction of a halfway house in Alabel for former New People’s Army rebels (FRs) has started. This facility is where FRs were to be accommodated while still on the process of reintegration to mainstream society.

The Provincial Local Government Unit of Sarangani (PLGU Sarangani) awarded financial assistance to 12 former NPA rebels under E-CLIP on July 12, 2018. Each of them received cheques worth P65,000 (P50,000 for livelihood assistance and P15,000 for immediate assistance).

Upon surrendering, the FRs also gave up their firearms and in return, they were given specific cash amount.

In addition, four FRs were also awarded P25,000 each on September 4, 2018 at the Capitol Gym during the Peace Partners Summit, for surrendering their firearms.

Throughout 2018, 40 former rebels have already surrendered to the PLGU Sarangani. They were also able to avail of the E-CLIP benefits.

E-CLIP or the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program provides a comprehensive, integrated, community-based national program that is locally-implemented to address the legal status and security of former rebels, as well as their economic, social, psychosocial rehabilitation needs and provide immediate to long-term interventions, which was started on April 2018.

Aside from cash, the FRs also received benefits from regional agencies and national government partners like social assistance from DILG, DSWD, Philhealth, DOH, DepEd, CHED, TESDA, NHA; livelihood assistance from DILG, DOLE, DSWD, DA, DTI, DAR, DENR, DPWH, NCIP, LBP/DBP, AFP/PNP, CDA; security and legal from PNP, AFP, DOJ/PAO; and development of receiving communities from OPAPP (PAMANA).

Alias Junie, 24, said he was thankful for the warm welcome of the government, and that they received assistance instead of hate. “Nag pasalamat ko sa gobyerno nga gihatagan mi’g trabaho. Gitagad pa gyud mi sa among pag surrender ug wala man jud may gibuhat sa amo nga mali. Nindot man pud ang gobyerno,” Junie explained.

Governor Solon was asked about his sentiments on the involvement of the youth to extremism and radicalism. Governor Solon said, “meron talaga tayong proseso with the DSWD para diyan.” The DSWD takes part in preventing this.

BGen. Roberto Ancan added that, “aside from that, meron din tayo ditong programa sa AFP, yung Youth for Peace Program na to,” he said. “This is an intervention para sa mga kabataan na hindi sila malihis ng landas.”

Another issue is that, “yung statistics na lumabas, 98% ng surrenderees natin ay galing IP dito sa Sarangani. Naturally, ang susunod na hakbang talaga is i-develop yung IP communities para ma-feel pud sa atong mga katawhan nga parte sila sa atong gobyerno,” Gov. Solon replied about the numerous IPs (Indigenous People) involved.

The September 4 Peace Partners Summit 2018 was attended by 100 former rebels at the Capitol Gym. Partner agencies were also present to give details on how they can offer their assistance to the FRs.

In the 2-day summit, FRs and the partner agencies had their reconciliation through simultaneous activities such as games, contests, campfire, basketball, volleyball, spiritual enlightenment, and more.

Governor Solon is supporting their role to community and nation building now that they have chosen to be in the normal state. According to the governor, PLGU Sarangani is willing to give funds if the FRs can form an organization which will relay the advocacy in their respective areas, and convince the rebels to be back in the community.

“Mga kauban nato sa reporma, salamat sa inyong pagbalik sa gobyerno. Basta rest assured, the number one way to cure extreme behavior is to create prosperous communities. So, iyan po ang gagawin natin sa Sarangani. Magiging God-centered at prosperous ang Sarangani.” (Donna Mahusay/SARANGANI COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE)

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