In this picture shows former rebel supporters attend a meeting for their cash-fo- work in Arakan, North Cotabato. (DSWD Photo)

KORONADAL CITY — A senior government official assured partners in the local government sectors  of full support in implementing grassroots peace-building drive to effectively address insurgency problem in the region.

Cezario Joel Espejo, regional director of Department of Social Welfare and Development, made the assurance on Tuesday during the orientation of agency’s guidelines on the implementation of Executive Order No. 70 at FB Hotel in Koronadal City where he stressed government line agencies are ready to provide needed interventions intended for rebel returnees.

“It’s a priority program of our government. As you know, there will be no growth in a certain city or municipality unless the 

issue of terrorism is resolved,” Dir. Espejo said. 

“Let’s continue our collaboration. The national government is ready to extend support in providing assistance for beneficiaries…. like the former rebels within your areas,” he added.

Dir. Espejo said the agency can provide livelihood trainings under Sustainable Livelihood Program, inclusion of rebel returnees in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, or provide educational and financial assistance under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), a program that serves as a social safety net or a stop-gap measure to support the recovery of individuals and families suffering from unexpected life events or crisis.

The EO-70, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in December 2018, created the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict that Institutionalized a whole-of- nation approach in obtaining exclusive and sustainable peace. 

Under EO-70, it states that the government shall prioritize and harmonize the delivery of basic services and social development packages in conflict-affected areas and -vulnerable communities, facilitate societal inclusivity and ensure active participation of all sectors of society in the pursuit of the country’s peace agenda. (JBM / DSWD)