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Albay enhances rules for managing ex-rebs

LEGAZPI CITY --- The provincial government of Albay, through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), has started to enhance its guidelines for managing former rebels (FRs) through the conduct of its first provincial Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) orientation training on case management.

In an interview on Monday, PSWDO officer in charge Maria Vivien Andes Cea said that after the training, they expect the concerned offices to be able to better address the identified gaps, especially in implementing the program including the handling and monitoring of the returnees.

“Pagdating sa monitoring (When it comes to monitoring), we need the help of the different social welfare officers of the 15 towns and three cities in Albay where those FRs reside. With the training, it will be easier to see and monitor the services they need and what we can give, what improvements they want and we need to really know the actual situation of the FRs,” Cea said.

In a separate interview, Lorena Barliso Quising, Albay provincial information officer, said the two-day training activity will help identify the institutional arrangements in managing FRs between and among provinces.

“The training and orientation conducted last April 13 to 14 also want to equip social workers and partners with the competencies to meet the needs of insurgent returnees in their respective localities and enumerate possible efforts in promoting the end of local communist armed conflict. It also wants to have more effective implementation of E-CLIP and to encourage more rebels to surrender,” Quising said.

To date, Cea said some 34 FRs in Albay have received E-CLIP from the government since January 2022 and an additional six were interviewed to be recommended to different agencies for livelihood interventions.

“Under this program, each former rebel receives PHP15,000 in immediate cash assistance and PHP50,000 in livelihood assistance, as well as remuneration for every firearm they will bring along during their surrender,” she noted.

Cea thanked the social workers and their partner agencies for their commitment and effort in implementing the E-CLIP.

“They are very much willing to help the province in giving, monitoring, and guiding the FRs, despite their fear for their safety and security they are very much willing to collaborate with us. I’m so happy with the perfect attendance from the participants we invited,” she said.

Cea said more comprehensive training with corresponding modules would be conducted in the province.

The E-CLIP is a package of cash incentives meant to entice members of a communist terrorist group (CTG) to surrender to authorities and start a peaceful life anew together with their respective families.

It is a flagship program of the Duterte administration that aims to help members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and the Militia ng Bayan (MB) reintegrate into mainstream society.

Some of the agencies that were represented in the two-day activity were the different city and municipal social welfare offices in Albay, the PSWDOs in Bicol region, the Department of Social Welfare and Development regional office and the Philippine Army. (PNA)


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