File photo WESCOM

Some 98 former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels have already been granted their benefits from the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) and Local Social Integration Program (LSIP) from 2013 to this year, said the Provincial Social Welfare Development Office (PSWDO), Thursday.

Abigail Ablaña, PSWDO chief, said since 2013, the year they started, 98 surrenderees have already benefited from their program.

“In the whole Palawan, 98 out of 121 na surrenderees or ‘yong former rebels benefited from the E-CLIP and Local Social Integration Program, this is P25,000 financial assistance from the Provincial Government, P65,000 from the DILG we started 2013,” she said.

The financial assistance for the surrenderees was intended for the livelihood projects such as hog raising, duck raising, organic farming, buy and sell of copra and other agriproducts.

The livelihood projects were determined by the surrenderees themselves, said Ablaña.

“Sila ang nag-de-determine niyan, once they are endorsed sa provincial social welfare by the receiving unit either the PNP or the Western Command iniinterview namin. Tinatanong namin kung ano bang nakikita nilang gagawin nilang proyekto to start their new life,” said Ablaña.

Ablaña said that the P90,000 financial assistance from the Provincial government and the Department of the Interior and Local Government is enough money for the beneficiaries to use for livelihood.

“If you have noticed ‘yong financial assitance nila for livelihood programs ay talagang makakabili ng sapat na pangangailangan doon sa gusto nilang project and ‘yong sobra, they were able to build or napaayos nila ‘yong kani-kanilang mga bahay,” she said.

She added that for the remaining 23, their papers are still being processed and will be given their grants after the processing.

She also mentioned that only the surrenderees with clearances from both the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines are those who can receive financial assistance.

Aside from Financial assistance, they also offer assistance if any family member is sick, medical assistance, skills training through TESDA.

As of this year, more than 20 were given financial assistance.

In addition, Ablaña called for more surrenderees not to get scared because the government is assuring them to help them.

“Wag sana silang matakot, kasi pinapakita natin na ang government is here to help them, to assist them to start a new life,” she said.