CATARMAN, Northern Samar, January 27 — The Provincial Government of Northern Samar and the Department of the Interior and Local Government 8 (DILG-8) distributed financial assistance to 24 former rebels (FRs) under the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) and the Local Social Integration Program (LSIP).

The distribution was held at the Darangpan Center in Brgy. Dalakit, Catarman, Northern Samar, January  27, 2021.

DILG-8 Regional Director Karl Caesar Rimando, Governor Edwin Marino Ongchuan, and other officials handed over to the former rebels checks worth P15,000 each as E-CLIP financial assistance implemented by the DILG.

DILG Regional Director Rimando in his inspirational message thanked the former rebels for their support to abandon the armed struggles and return to the fold of the law.

“We will make E-CLIP as an inspiration to others, because no one among us, aspire to live in a chaotic world. Everyone aspires to live in a progressive and a peaceful community,” Rimando said.

He also encouraged the FRs to convince their comrades who have gone into hiding to surrender, and avail of the livelihood assistance, trainings, and other benefits from the government.

On the other hand, Northern Samar Governor Edwin Marino Ongchuan said that the provincial government is grateful for the assistance that the national government provided to former rebels adding that the province is lucky to have this Darangpan Center (halfway house) which is the first in Region 8.

In December 2020, the Provincial Government through its Local Social Integration Program (LSIP) also gave P40,000 each to the 24 former rebels as livelihood and immediate assistance.

As part of the E-CLIP interventions, FRs also received free training on bread and pastry making provided by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Baked products prepared by the FRs were showcased and served as snacks during the event.

Ka Raz, one of the former rebels said that their view in life will possibly change because of how serious the government is in their program, such as the E-CLIP.

E-CLIP is a government program aimed to help the former rebels to restore their allegiance to the government.

EO 70 which seeks to institute a whole-of-nation approach in addressing the root causes of insurgency by prioritizing and harmonizing the delivery of basic services and social packages by the government, facilitating societal inclusivity, and ensuring active participation of all sectors in the society in the pursuit of peace, now comes into fruition.

The activity was also attended by DILG Provincial Director Danilo Laguitan, Board Member Florencio Fawa Batula, 803rd Brigade Commander Gen. Lowell R. Tan, PNP Provincial Director Col. Arnel Apud, Gamay Mayor Timoteo Capoquian, PIA-N. Samar Information Officer Teresita B. Cardenas, and Jenny Dharish of PSWDO. (ldl/tbc/PIA Northern Samar)