CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Some 907 former rebels in Northern Mindanao have received an aggregate total of P14-million government assistance upon their return to the mainstream society, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
DILG-10 Regional Director Arnel Agabe said that there were 66 surrenderees in CY 2014, 49 in 2015, 24 in 2016, 42 in 2017, 178 in 2018, 280 in 2019, and 268 in 2020.
“Kita nagatuo nga kining mga assistance nagahatag ug bag-o nga kinabuhi sa atong mga former rebels nga ningbalik sa sabakan sa gobyerno mahitungod nga nakita nila ang paningkamot sa atong national government pinaagi ni President Rodrigo Duterte nga mahatagan na nato ug kaangayan nga solusyon ang lima ka dekada nga insurgency problem dinhi sa atong nasud (We believe that these assistance will give new life to our former rebels who returned to the fold of the law since they saw the efforts of the national government through President Rodrigo Duterte to give appropriate solution to the five-decade insurgency problem in the country),” Agabe said during the recent NorMin COVID-19 Response Task Force Press Conference.
Agabe said the DILG has spent about P14 million worth of livelihood and reintegration assistance, and firearms remuneration. Of which, P2.7 million were spent on immediate assistance to 181 beneficiaries; P6.8 million on livelihood assistance to 136 former rebels; P4 million on reintegration assistance to 594 former rebels; and P962 thousand in firearms remuneration to 20 former rebels.
He added that DILG-10 provided livelihood assistance worth P150,000 to three former rebels in Cagayan de Oro City for this year alone.
According to Agabe, the National Housing Authority (NHA) also helped improve the lives of former rebels by turning over 100 houses last year on top of the DILG assistance.
The DILG-10 Regional Director added that other housing projects for former rebels in Cagayan de Oro and other parts of Northern Mindanao are also ongoing.
According to Agabe, insurgency is not solved only through military operations but also through the collaboration of national line agencies thus, the implementation of Executive Order 70. Said EO institutionalizes the whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace, creating a national task force to end local communist armed conflict, and directing the adoption of a national peace framework.