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PIA Press Release

Social workers train on case management of former combatants

Tabuk, Kalinga (7 December) -- Municipal social workers in the province recently underwent a seminar on Case Management of Former Combatants to enhance their capabilities in handling former rebels referred to them through the Social Integration Program (SIP).

Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office SIP Coordinator Eusebia Haddac said that the SIP focal persons from the eight local government units (LGU) needed to undergo the training to competently and effectively work to bring their clients socially prepared to the mainstream of society.

She said that as of this year, social workers in the province are assisting more than a thousand former rebels.

"The program may be processing only a few cases every month but for social workers the job is never done after clients are accepted back to the fold of the law since we have to sustain post-conflict interventions such as counseling to ensure that they will not go back to the mountains," she said.

Under the SIP, social workers play a very important role in the long term goal of sustaining social and economic re-integration of former rebels into a peaceful society. Many of the clients have been processed before but they continue to come back because of their difficulty in dealing with civil communities, Haddac said.

"To achieve our goal of lasting peace, it is very important that social workers are equipped with the needed skills to know, assess and evaluate the actual needs of their clients and introduce doable solutions to address these needs," she said.

In a message, PSWD Officer Digna Dalutag emphasized on the importance of "commitment and accountability" among social workers.

Being on the field, social workers play a vital role in the development of government programs like SIP. It is essential to asses and sustain the gains from the process keeping on record findings and recommendations which are critical to the development of theory in social work, she added.

To achieve this, it is important that social workers should undergo professional growth through educational enhancement through seminars and should also consider academic enhancement like taking master and doctorate courses.

Through Administrative Order No. 172 the National Committee on Social Integration (NCSI) under the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process was created to implement the Social Integration Program for rebel groups.

This involves interventions former rebels and their dependent to help them in their transition to civilian life with the short term goal to restoration of peace and security and a long term goal to sustain the social and economic re-integration of former rebels into a peaceful society. (gigi dumallig/PIA-Kalinga) [top]

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