BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Twenty-six former members of the New People’s Army Militia Ng Bayan, who surrendered to the 62nd Infantry Battalion,received P260,000 worth of livelihood assistance from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Wednesday at Camp Tirambulo in Brgy. McKinley, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
Col. Michael Samson, deputy commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, said yesterday that each of the 26 former rebels received P10,000 worth of grocery items, livestocks with feeds, grower and vitamins, as well as sacks of rice as their starter kit.
Samson said that the assistance form part of the livelihood seeding program of the DTI- Negros Oriental dubbed the “Pangkabuhayan sa pag Bangon at Ginhawa”, that aims to uplift and provide livelihood assistance to entrepreneurs –especially micro small and medium enterprises “MSMEs” – in areas hit by fire and other calamities, including ELCAC (End Local Communist Armed Conflict) areas.
He added that the move was in line with the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) to capacitate and support former rebels in going back to mainstream society and becoming productive citizens.
Lt. Col. Melvin Flores, 62IB commander,on the other hand,said that the giving of livelihood assistance worth a total of P260,000 was facilitated by DTI-Negros Oriental Provincial Director Nimfa Virtucio.
Flores also said that the program aims to enable the 26 former NPA militiamen who were recipient of the E-CLIP to innovate income generating activities that could advance their economic status.
The distribution of livelihood assistance was attended by Guihulngan City Mayor Carlo Jorge Joan Reyes, Joel Villagracia of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Virtucio, Samson and Flores.*