15 more former rebels get livelihood assistance from DOLE Laguna

CAVINTI, Laguna – Another set of former rebels (FR) residing in Laguna benefitted livelihood packages from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Laguna during a simple hand-over of benefits ceremony hosted by the city government of Sta Rosa held at City Auditorium, Sta Rosa City, Laguna, on October 4, 2022, Tuesday.

DOLE Laguna headed Dir. Guido R Recio, Provincial Director led the hand-over of livelihood grants totalling to PhP 230,000.00. He was assisted by Sta Rosa City Mayor Hon. Arlene B Arcillas, Brigadier General Cerilo C Balaoro Jr, Commander of 202nd Infantry (Unifier) Brigade, and other invited guests.

The livelihood grants include initial goods for sari-sari store, bigasan and frozen goods, welding equipment and fishing supplies. This intervention was a result of the initiative of DOLE Laguna in partnership with the Laguna Provincial Task Force-ELCAC (PTF-ELCAC) member agencies specifically the PRLEC cluster, which intends to improve the former rebels’ lives by providing them additional sustainable sources of income.

Ka Miguel, one of the recipients, expressed his sincerest thanks and gratitude along with the other FRs to the government for the livelihood assistance they received. He assured the government officials present that they will not waste every opportunity the government has offered to them.

Hon. Arlene B. Arcillas, welcomed the decision of the beneficiaries to trust the government and return to the folds of the law. “The assistance provided to former rebels exemplifies the cooperation and collaboration among the different line government agencies with the aim of establishing a peaceful environment conducive to economic development. You were given another chance of life and we hope that this assistance will encourage more rebels to choose the path to peace with their beloved families”. 

In his statement, Brig. Gen Cerilo C Balaoro Jr., Commander, 202nd Infantry (Unifier) Brigade lauded the concerted efforts among different line agencies for their continuous and relentless assistance in rebuilding the lives of the former rebels. “The assistance given by the government is not just for them but also for their families and the community itself. In partnership with the government agencies, we will continue to help the FRs start a decent and peaceful life with their families”, he added.

He also urged the former rebels to be the mouthpiece of this initiative in order to convince the remaining NPA members to return to the folds of the law and prove to them that the government is sincere in its resolve of helping FRs start a new life and be productive citizens of the community.

Director Guido Recio, DOLE Laguna Provincial Director who handed over the livelihood assistance stressed that the activity is an explicit manifestation of the government’s genuine collective desire to bring intervention to former rebels. “The DOLE Laguna in partnership with the security forces and other agencies, assure you that we will continue to provide necessary assistance not only to former rebels but also to their families.”

It can be recalled that on March 15 and June 28, a total of 18 former rebels have received additional livelihood assistance from said agency.