BORONGAN CITY, Nov. 20 (PIA)-Eastern Samar Vice Governor Maricar Sison Goteesan together with DILG Provincial Director Visitacion Giva, and officers from the 14th Infantry Battalion and 801st Brigade led the distribution of E-CLIP (Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program) assistance to 16 Eastern Samar Former rebels and Militia ng Bayan at the Provincial Governor's Conference Hall, Capitol Bldg, on November 18, 2019.
Of the former rebels, two received P 65,000.00 each (P 15,000.00 immediate assistance and P 50,000.00 livelihood assistance) while the other Militia ng Bayan received immediate assistance worth P 15,000.00 after completing the required processes.
E-CLIP is one of the flagship programs of the Duterte administration that seeks to address social healing and national unity towards the higher objective of having just and lasting peace.
It aims to provide social equity to former members of the CPP-NPA-NDF and the Militia ng Bayan to reintegrate them into mainstream society.
Unlike the previous government's reintegration programs, the E-CLIP provides a wide array of benefits based on the particular needs of the former rebels and their families such as financial assistance, shelter, education, skills training, healthcare and legal assistance through a convergence of various national and local government agencies.
In her message, Vice Governor Goteesan who represented Governor Ben P. Evardone said, "We are happy that you decided to return to mainstream society, the government is ready to accept anyone who will surrender."
"These FRs are victims of circumstances and exploitation by the local communists whose desire is to grab political power at the expense of our indigent brothers and sisters. The local communist leaders deprived our people of the opportunity to improve their lives," said Col. Camilo Z. Ligayo, Commander of the 801st Bde.
Ligayo said the program is designed for FRs to get back to their normal lives and help them "regain the dignity of a human being."
Ligayo also lauded the Provincial Government for the cash aid given to the FRs.
"It will entice more rebels to surrender, hoping that other provinces will replicate such kind of initiative," Ligayo added.
Deputy Brigade Commander of the 801st Brigade Col. Lenart M. Lelinea welcomed the fomer rebels, "Welcome back to a peaceful life, we need the cooperation of everyone so that we can have a peaceful community."
The 14th IB Commander LtCol. Jasper Justito M. Pecson meanwhile appealed to other rebels out there to make peace with the government.
Other witnesses to the event were Mauricio T. Labado Jr., E-CLIP Program Manager, LTC Edgar Allan B. Orbito of the 8CMOBn, PIA Eastern Samar Samuel D. Candido and Radyo Pilipinas reporter Penelope Pomida. (SDC/PIA 8 Eastern Samar with reports from Pen Pomida/RP)