Koronadal City – “Pagkatapos ng programang ito, hindi na kayo tatawaging mga former rebels, kundi mga negosyante. Narito ang pamahalaan upang sumuporta at tulungan kayo pati na rin ang inyong pamilya,”
These were the encouraging words of DSWD XII Regional Director Loreto Jr. V. Cabaya during his message at the Former Rebel (FR) Summit held in Koronadal City recently.
The event was attended by 225 qualified former rebels who were endorsed by Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) South Cotabato. The FRs received a P20,000 livelihood settlement grant from DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program, which they can use as start-up capital.
The summit was made possible through the partnership of DSWD XII, ECLIP South Cotabato, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Municipal and Provincial Task Force ELCAC, and other agencies such as DOLE, TESDA, DepEd-ALS, provincial population and agriculture offices.
One of the FRs from Lake Sebu expressed her gratitude, “Nagpapasalamat kami sa kabutihan ng ating gobyerno. Kaya tayong mga dating rebelde, lagi nating tatandaan ito, at ingatan ang ibinigay sa ating pag-asa para sa ating pamilya.”
The program provides livelihood to conflict-affected and vulnerable areas as a contribution to Executive Order No. 70, which seeks to institutionalize the Whole-of-Nation Approach. This approach is designed to facilitate collective participation and action in harmonizing government development efforts and services, with the ultimate goal of supporting and pursuing the country’s peace agenda.