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PIA Press Release

Sarangani adopts social integration plan

Alabel, Sarangani (14 August) -- The Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) has officially adopted the Local Social Integration Plan (LSIP) to manage "forces, arms and ammunitions of former rebels and their transition to civilian life."

The LSIP "is one of the tools to be used in the maintenance of peace and order in the locality," according to a resolution unanimously passed August 8 by the PPOC.

The resolution was approved upon the motion of Board Member Victor James Yap, Sangguniang Panlalawigan committee chair on peace and order.

At the same time, PPOC members from the police and military issued "commitments" during a workshop to provide former rebels with a "halfway house" and arms storage for surrendered firearms.

For their part, provincial offices for social welfare, health services and Gov. Migs Dominguez' Kalinaw Sarangani peace program "committed" rice for former rebels, and their stress debriefing with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

Social workers are giving livelihood assistance for former rebels as they undergo a healing and reconciliation process. Their medical needs in the treatment of TB and malaria fall under the care of the provincial health office.

Other commitments by line agencies reported during the workshop are: Alternative Learning System (DepED); job placement and skills development (DOLE); livelihood technical assistance (DTI); seedling distribution and advocacy on the preservation of the environment (DENR); Tulay sa Pangulo Project and solar panel for rebel returnee community (DAR); and manual labor employment (DPWH).

Non-government organizations would pave the way for social preparation and coordination. On the other hand, the Sarangani Indigenous People Professionals Association (SIPPA), in collaboration with mayors' offices, vowed to speed up the healing process and reconciliation.

SIPPA would also seek the assistance of tribal leaders in leg-working and information drive on traditional way of managing conflicts.

"The Social Integration Program of the National Committee on Social Integration under OPAPP involves a comprehensive peace process agenda that calls for a principled negotiated settlement with all armed rebel groups under the Rule of Law and in accordance with the Constitutional processes specifically management of forces, arms and ammunitions of former rebels and their transition to civilian life, is considered an integral part of the peace process and post-conflict security reform, and as essential confidence-building and peace building nature," the PPOC resolution stated.

In its resolution, the PPOC said a "significant number of rebel groups are threat to the Peace and Order situation in the locality."

In the quest of finding solution to this problem, the PPOC tapped the National Government thru the OPAPP "for a more comprehensive approach in the management of these rebel groups."

The OPAPP, thru the National Committee on Social Integration, responded by assisting the PPOC in crafting an Action Plan or better known as the Local Social Integration Plan of Sarangani Province solely intended for the rebel groups. (PIO Sarangani/PIA SarGen) [top]

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