40 ex-rebels in Aurora to get livelihood aid

Forty former rebels of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in this province will receive livelihood assistance that could help them restart their lives.

Lt. Col. Julito B. Recto Jr., acting commander of the Philippine Army’s 91st Infantry (Sinagtala) Battalion under the 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division, said on Friday the former rebels will get PHP20,000 each under the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Recto said a livelihood orientation was conducted Thursday in Dipaculao town to help the former rebels go back to the community with a proper source of income.

Ulyssis Arevalo, DSWD Regional Office 3 focal person on Executive Order No. 70 or the whole-of-nation approach to end local communist armed conflict, said the assistance will be received by the former rebels at the soonest possible time through the joint efforts of the concerned agencies from local government units here.

“This activity is part of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), a mandate under Executive Order No. 70 by President Rodrigo Duterte. We will immediately process their papers in order for them to receive the allotted aid,” Arevalo said in an interview.

Meanwhile, Recto is hopeful that the former rebels will not waste the opportunity that had been presented to them.

“I am encouraging them to be productive members of the society and we will do our best to help them to receive more livelihood assistance coming from the different government agencies to aid them in their transition back to mainstream society,” Recto said in a separate interview.

He said the 91st Infantry Battalion will continuously encourage former rebels to undergo seminar-workshop and training in order to avail more livelihood packages, employment, training, and educational assistance.

The CPP- NPA, which has been waging a five-decade armed struggle against the government, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the National Democratic Front as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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