CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – At least 12 former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) on Monday received livelihood assistance that could help them start new lives with their respective families.
The aid is under the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which will enable the former rebels to engage in livelihood enterprises.
Governor Dennis Pineda, together with Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Elizabeth Baybayan, DSWD-III Project Development Officer II Lamberto Elijah Villanueva, and other local officials personally distributed PHP20,000 checks each to the 12 former rebels who are all from Arayat town, this province.
The surrenderers submitted their livelihood proposals to the DSWD which were assessed and provided with corresponding budget allocation.
Pineda lauded the decision of the former rebels to return to the fold of the law, and said the national and provincial governments will support them in going back to mainstream society.
He also asked them to abandon their old ways and not let themselves be deceived again by the false promises of the communist terrorist groups.
Meanwhile, Villanueva said the livelihood assistance given to the former rebels is a manifestation of the government’s sincerity and commitment to help the surrenderers rebuild their lives.
“Layon ng programa na tulungan ang mga benepisyaryo na magsimulang muli sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay sa mga ito ng oportunidad na makapaghanapbuhay (The program aims to help the beneficiaries to restart their lives through the livelihood opportunities being provided to them),” he said in a social media post.
He added that nine more former rebels in this province will also receive the same kind of livelihood assistance.
To help ensure the sustainability of the former rebels’ livelihood, Villanueva said the DSWD-SLP with the help of PSWD and other stakeholders will continue to monitor and provide them with technical assistance.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The NDF has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the ATC on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)