7 rebels in Panay island surrender to gov't anew
by A. Lumaque
Roxas City (24 February) -- Seven of the 57 rebel-returnees who availed of the government's Social Intergration Program (SIP) come from Panay island.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo led the awarding of P1.14 million as immediate economic assistance to the new batch of rebel-returnees that include 8 women.
Each of the rebel-returnees received P20,000 as immediate cash aid to start life anew in mainstream society. Aside from the P20,000 immediate cash, the rebel-returnees are also entitled to P50,000 under the SIP as capital assistance in the form of working animals, farm implements, and/or and sari-sari store goods, among others to help them rebuild their economic and social lives.
The other rebel-returnees are from the Cordillera Autonomous Region, 6; Pampanga, 13; Bicol, 5; and Caraga, 26.
An additional P50,000 for each M16 or M14 rifle and equitable amounts for similar firearms, explosives or ammunition surrendered by the rebel -returnees with themselves.
The SIP-recipients will also undergo seminar-workshops where they are briefed and acquainted with other program opportunities for them, including livelihood packages, employment, training and education assistance.
The seminars will also enable them to have better access to basic services and other social amelioration programs of government which they may be qualified.
The SIP involves a process whereby former rebels and their dependents are provided a set of interventions to facilitate their integration into mainstream social life. It provides a framework for the convergence and cooperation among local government units, state line agencies, non-government organizations (NGOs) and the community as well.
Among the partners of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) are the Department of Education (DepEd), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), National Food Authority (NFA), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). (PIA) [top]