(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 21 February 2024) Easterlies affecting the eastern section of the country. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies / Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with Slight to Moderate seas (0.6 to 2.5 meters).


Thursday, January 4, 2024

Former rebels get food aid from DSWD in Butuan City

By Jennifer Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development has distributed family food packs to 101 former communist rebels who are referred to as “friends rescued” (FRs) at Camp Colonel Rafael C Rodriguez in Barangay Libertad.

Jessie Catherine Aranas, chief of the DSWD Protective Services Division, led the distribution of the boxes, which contain various grocery items, to the FRs who chose to surrender to the government.

Aranas underscored that this initiative formed part of the Department’s effort to end local communist armed conflict and help the former rebels start a new life in mainstream society.

“This is part of our mandate to provide the necessary interventions to the former rebels, along with other vulnerable sectors in society. Being one of the active member agencies and implementers of Executive Order No. 70, or the whole-of-nation approach to ending local communist armed conflict through the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC), the DSWD Field Office Caraga has made available the different programs that will address the concerns of the sectors and has always been ready to extend assistance to those in great need,” said Aranas.

A total of 101 former rebels from the different provinces of Caraga region surrendered to the government’s fold along with their firearms. They were given family food packs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office in Caraga. They are also set to receive other benefits from various concerned government agencies that comprise the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC). Photos courtesy of DSWD-Caraga

Aranas further revealed that government agencies such as the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Army, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), among others, will also be extending assistance to the FRs and their families through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP). 

“We want to inculcate in the minds of our friends rescued that the government is their partner towards attaining sustainable peace and development; hence, we as duty-bearers will continue to welcome more surrenderees from the different provinces of the region,” Aranas added.

Meanwhile, General Benjamin Acorda Jr., PNP chief, emphasized the government's goal to maintain peace and order, protect life, liberty, and property, and promote the general welfare.

“This move reflected our success in the aggressive fight against terrorism as we continue to gain grounds, posing their nearest downfall,” Gen. Acorda said.

Police Brigadier General Kirby John Kraft, regional director of PNP-Caraga, acknowledged the 101 surrenderees who also witnessed the demilitarization or destruction of their surrendered firearms. 

“This activity ensured that no one shall use these weapons for crimes and illegal activities or to cause harm and wreak havoc on the peace-loving Caraganons,” said Kraft.

As the government agency mandated to develop, implement, and coordinate social protection and poverty reduction solutions, the DSWD Field Office Caraga continues to collaborate with Police Regional Office-13 in its efforts to intensify the campaign on eradicating the insurgency in the Caraga region and to sustain the whole-of-nation approach in ending the local communist armed conflict. (JPG, PIA-Caraga with report from DSWD-Caraga)