Koronadal City—Twenty six (26) rebel returnees in South Cotabato received a total of P85, 000 livelihood and financial assistance from the Provincial Government during a formal turn-over ceremony held recently. These former rebels surrendered last year.
Grace Rodel, a social worker and the focal person of the Local Reintegration Program of South Cotabato, said the Provincial Government extended P65, 000 livelihood assistance to six FRs, and P20, 000 immediate assistance 20 FRs.
“We teach them how to be an entrepreneur so that they could sustain the assistance that was provided by the provincial government,” Rodel said.
In an interview, most of the former rebels claimed they were forced to join the New People’s Army because of poverty.
Through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) provincial offices, a series of financial literacy and skills training were conducted before the turn-over of cash assistance to former rebels.
“We are producing successful FRs. They will serve as ambassadors of peace to call other NPA members to surrender,” Rodel added.
These FRs have recently graduated a skills training for agricultural production as scholars of the Technical and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).