Thirteen members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Agusan del Norte who recently surrendered to the Army’s 29th Infantry Battalion have undergone assessment for enrolment to the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).
The assessment was facilitated by the 29IB and the Provincial Social Welfare and Development (PSDWD) office of Agusan del Norte on Wednesday (Oct. 21) in Cabadbaran City, 1Lt. Edmar C. Colagong, 23IB civil-military operations officer, said Thursday.
“These former rebels are temporarily staying in a halfway house we call New Hope Village within our headquarters,” Colagong told the Philippine News Agency, adding the surrenderers yielded on separate occasions this year.
“The assessment aims to prepare them for the awarding of a permanent house and lot and the provision of training, seminars, and assignment of their livelihood projects,” he said.
Since 2016, a total of 60 NPA rebels have already surrendered to the 29IB, 35 of whom have already benefited from the ECLIP program of the government.
Two of the former rebels have already received their house and lot from the National Housing Authority (NHA) and are now living with their families, Colagong said.
“The NHA is still processing the house and lot of the other FRs (former rebels) who already received their livelihood incentives. They can choose wherever they like to live with their families,” he added.
Lt. Col. Isagani O. Criste, 29IB commander, underscored the importance of helping the former rebels rebuild their lives “when they go back to their families and communities”.
“With this, we will be able to encourage the remaining members of the organization to surrender. Those who are still in the mountains, descend and surrender because we, the servants of the government, are here to help you to build a new life,” Criste said in a statement Thursday.
Source: Philippines News Agency