BONTOC, Mountain Province – Three former rebels were given livelihood assistance to help them start projects to help sustain their families.
The former red fighters received fifty thousand pesos each last Wednesday on top of the fifteen thousand pesos immediate assistance given them December last year. The received amount was from the national government’s Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) coursed through the Department of Interior and Local Government.
Those who received the assistance were Macario Baguiwen, Manuel Santos and Jacinto Dulnuan, Jr. Each of them joined the underground movement some years ago but opted to rejoin the mainstream society with the hope of giving their share in the development of their respective communities.
In a simple ceremony at the provincial DILG office, provincial governor and CLIP chairman Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. rallied the former rebels to help all government programs towards the vision of bringing peace and prosperity in the province. He likewise urged them to value the assistance given them by investing the amount in undertakings that will materially improve the lives of their families and the community as a whole.
The same advice was reiterated by Provincial DILG Director Anthony Manolo Ballug who bared that the three might be the last recipients of the program. Ballug said that no budget was earmarked for the program this year but is optimistic that it will be included next fiscal year. “As of now, no amount was downloaded for the purpose since the program was not given any budgetary allocation. I am hopeful though that it will be reconsidered next year given its positive impact,” Ballug said.
For their part, the recipients thanked the government for the assistance and promised that it will be used following the prescribed guidelines. The Provincial Social Welfare Office will be conducting regular visitation activities to monitor the livelihood projects of the awardees.