LUNA, Apayao – Some 48 former rebels received vital financial support from the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera (DSWD-CAR) in an awarding ceremony held at Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall on September 26, 2023.
These 48 individuals are beneficiaries of the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) with each receiving a financial assistance of PhP5,000.
Their eligibility for support from DSWD-CAR through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) was approved by the provincial government.
Verlimae Baldovino, Chief of Staff of the Governor, congratulated the former rebels, recognizing this day as a significant milestone in their collective journey towards peace, unity, and progress.
Baldovino emphasized that the assistance they received wasn’t just financial but also a symbol of their journey of redemption and the government’s dedication to supporting those who have turned away from a troubled past.
Baldovino reassured them that the provincial government and Gov. Elias C. Bulut, Jr., along with other agencies, would continue to stand by their side in their quest to reintegrate into society.
Marie Claire Palattao, the ASENG focal person, further informed the returnees about various programs and services available to them, including the Apayao Student Aid Program (ASAP) scholarship, healthcare support, livelihood assistance, and aid for families facing financial hardships during times of loss.
Palattao encouraged them to stay engaged and informed about the current programs and services offered by the provincial government.
Meanwhile, Vice Gov. Remy N. Albano was thankful that the former rebels decided to return to the government fold, highlighting that refusal to embrace the government’s programs would only lead to a life of uncertainty.
Albano ascertained that the government is committed to helping them integrate peacefully into the mainstream society, promising a brighter future.
On the other hand, one of the former rebels expressed gratitude to the government for extending financial assistance and support, enabling them to find their way back to a better path.
Other former rebels acknowledged the government’s role in aiding their return and hoped to repay this kindness by living up to the community’s expectations. By PIO Apayao