P1.8M firearm remuneration benefits 15 former rebels in DavSur

P1.8M firearm remuneration benefits 15 former rebels in DavSur

By Carina Cayon

DIGOS CITY, Davao del Sur, Jan. 29 (PIA) – More than P1.8 million worth of financial assistance under the government’s Firearm Remuneration Program has benefited 15 former rebels from Davao del Sur, who surrendered their firearms when they returned to the folds of the law.

The former rebels personally received their checks on Wednesday (Jan. 27) during the awarding ceremony at the Davao del Sur Coliseum in Digos City where the surrendered firearms were also presented.

Governor Douglas Cagas together with Provincial Director Mika-Chan Magtulis of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) – Davao del Sur, headed the distribution of the cash assistance which ranged from a minimum of P60,000.00 to P214,000.00.

Under the Firearm Remuneration Program, the cash incentives will depend on the type of firearms surrendered.

Magtulis bared that the beneficiaries surrendered to the government in 2019 when they also yielded up their firearms from low to high-caliber weapons such as different types of rifles.

The Firearm Remuneration Program, which is part of DILG’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) for former rebels, intends to urge members of the New Peoples Army (NPA) and the so-called Militia ng Bayan to surrender along with their firearms.

Another two former rebels also received cash assistance worth P65,000.00 under ECLIP’s livelihood and immediate assistance.

Magtulis stated that the financial assistance for the former rebels will help them prepare to be reintegrated to their respective communities, and regain their normal life.

Cagas urged the former rebels to support “the wishes and the efforts of our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to end this conflict among Filipinos. Tapuson nato ning pag away-away sa atong nasud. Daghan nag nangamatay niini daghan na og na injured (Let’s put an end to this conflict in our country. Many have died, many were injured).”

“But when you encourage people to go back to the folds of the law, provide them with support, to sustain them,” the governor emphasized.

The awarding of the ECLIP assistance was held in time for the commencement rites of the Tupad Pangako Program (TPP) where another 21 former rebels graduated from a three-month livelihood training program at the Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center in Bansalan, Davao del Sur.

The TPP was launched in October 2020, in a bid to provide assistance for the FRs in Davao del Sur to start a new and normal life.

The TPP was a joint initiative of the provincial local government of Davao del Sur, DILG Davao del Sur, Philippine Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion and Davao del Sur Provincial Police Office (DSPPO), and the MBRLC. (PIA-XI/Carina L. Cayon)