(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Thursday, 18 July 2024) At 3:00 AM today, the Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated based on all available data at 310 km East Northeast of Davao City (8.3°N, 128.2°E). Southwest Monsoon affecting the western sections of Southern Luzon and Mindanao. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—˜π—”π—§π—›π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to LPA. Possible flash floods or landslides due to moderate to heavy rains. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to Moderate winds coming from Northeast to Northwest will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.5 meters).

Wednesday, 13 March 2024

66 former rebels reintegrated into Surigao Sur’s mainstream society

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur (PIA) --  A total of 66 former rebels (FRs) benefited from the recently held “Task Force Balik Loob” Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) awarding of assistance ceremony at the Villa Maria Luisa Hotel in Tandag City, which marked a pivotal moment for peace and reconciliation efforts in the region. 

Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin C. Abalos, Jr., who served as the guest of honor and speaker, said that the event was a testament to the government's commitment to fostering peace, rebuilding lives, and integrating former rebels back into the fabric of society.

Abalos also underscored the importance of the E-CLIP initiative and the government's dedication to supporting those who have decided to leave behind a life of conflict for a chance at peace and normalcy.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin C. Abalos, Jr. led the provision of financial assistance to the former rebels during the E-CLIP Awarding Ceremony in Tandag City. (Photo courtesy of SDS-PPO)

Among the most moving segments of the event were the presentation of the 66 FRs, including the ceremonial turnover of firearms and the oath of allegiance. 

“These acts were not merely ceremonial; they represented the tangible steps taken by individuals once embroiled in conflict, now firmly walking the path towards peace and integration into society,” cited Abalos.

The ceremonial awarding of E-CLIP assistance was another highlight, showcasing the government's robust support for the reintegration of the FRs. 

Abalos further stressed that this comprehensive assistance package, including livelihood opportunities, cash assistance, and various benefits from regional line agencies (RLAs) such as the DILG, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Agriculture (DA), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), among others, were all designed to empower the FRs and facilitate their smooth transition back into mainstream society.

In an interview, a certain alias “Blue,” one of the FRs, extended his heartfelt gratitude to the government for the unwavering support and assistance extended to them, despite what they had done against the government when they were still in the leftist group.

“Usa ko sa midawat sa ayuda gikan sa ECLIP, ug dako ang akong pasalamat sa gobyerno, ilabi na sa 36IB, DSWD nga nagsagop nako ug sa akong mga kauban aron makabalik na ta sa sabakan sa gobyerno ug makapuyo sa normal nga kinabuhi,” Blue said.

(I am one of those who benefited from the E-CLIP, and I am very grateful to the government, especially to the 36IB, PSWD, who accepted me and my companions and facilitated our safe return to the folds of the government for us to live a normal life.)

The 66 former rebels served as beneficiaries of the 'Task Force Balik Loob” under the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP). The activity formed part of their reintegration to mainstream society. (Photo courtesy of SDS-PPO)

Governor Alexander T. Pimentel also emphasized that "dili gyera ang solusyon" (ar is not the solution)is a powerful reminder of the importance of peace, dialogue, and reconciliation. It was a call to all attendees to remember the ultimate goal of these efforts: a peaceful and united community where conflicts are resolved through understanding and cooperation.

Secretary Abalos's heartfelt words further underscored the spirit of unity and support that characterized the event. His message to the FRs was one of encouragement and solidarity.

This message, filled with empathy and understanding, resonated deeply with the FRs and all who were present. It was a reassurance that the journey towards reintegration and peace is a collective endeavor, one that the government and the community embark on together. (NGPB/PIA-Surigao del Sur)