BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
A total of 15 former members of the New People’s Army “Militia ng Bayan”, who surrendered last month to the 11th Infantry Battalion, availed of the livelihood assistance offered by the Department of Trade and Industry dubbed as “Pangkabuhayan sa pag Bangon at Ginhawa” or PBG.
Lt. Col. Ramir Redosendo, 11IB commander, said that 15 former rebels, who are residents of Brgys. Calango and Mayabon in Zamboaguita, Negros Oriental, form part of the first batch of beneficiaries who availed of assistance under the government Enhanced Community Support Program (E-CLIP).
Redosendo added that similar livelihood assistance will be given to other former rebels who are also residing in Siaton, Santa Catalina, and Valencia towns.
The 15 former rebels availed of ₱10,000 worth of livelihood kits in the form of payment vouchers to those who would like to start a sari-sari store; cows for those who want to venture in to cattle raising, and fertilizers and paka (sugarcane seedlings) to those who wish to engage in farming, he added.
DTI provincial director Nimfa Virtucio of Negros Oriental said that the PBG program aims to uplift and provide livelihood assistance to existing and aspiring entrepreneurs in areas hit by calamities, including areas covered by the government’s counter-insurgency program.
Virtucio said that it was the beneficiaries who chose which form of livelihood kit they would like to avail of.
Meanwhile, Redosendo said that collaboration and cooperation between the Negros Oriental Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and various stakeholders are needed in addressing the root causes of the insurgency in Negros island.*