OROQUIETA CITY, Mar. 16—The Department of the Interior and Local Government-Misamis Occidental together with the Provincial Government spearheaded the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) Committee Meeting to consider essential matters in anticipation of the turn-over and operationalization of the completed halfway houses for former rebels at Camp Burgos, Oroquieta City. 

Said meeting was presided over by Provincial Governor Philip T. Tan and attended by representatives from member national government agencies and civil society organization as well as office heads of different departments in the provincial government. 

The proceedings were characterized by presentations of the rationale of halfway house construction by DILG Provincial Director Pablio L. Benitez, Jr., CESO V, proposed manual of operations and its corresponding budgetary allocations by PSWDO Lorellie Yee, updates by 10th IB Philippine Army LTC Rey Tiongson of the reintegration status of 84 former rebels and additional rebel returnees whose requisite documents for the availment of package of reintegration assistance are currently on process, viewing of the proposed landscape design of the halfway village by Engr. Maisog of the Provincial Engineering Office, brief overview of the resolution institutionalizing the E-CLIP Committees at the component cities and municipalities of the province, and discussion of identified issues/concerns in preparation for the scheduled turn-over ceremony which will be on the last week of May 2021. 

Director Benitez underscored that per the memorandum of agreement entered into between the Department and Mis. Occ. Provincial Government, the LGU will have the full responsibility in maintaining the facility and provide manpower complement necessary for its smooth operation with the AFP and PNP to provide the security of the area. 

Earlier on that same day, the Committee headed by Hon. Philip Tan joined the personalities from DSWD Misamis Occidental for the release of 5,000 pesos cash grant to 84 former rebels under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) program. Also, the Governor committed to prioritize them for any available employment opportunities and pledged 2,500 pesos monthly assistance until December 2021 to all of them to aid their daily sustenance. 

Elena, one of the beneficiaries, said that she will use the money to buy groceries to cover their daily needs. “Nagpasalamat ako sa gobyerno alang sa pagdala ug paghatag ug serbisyo kanamo. Kini usa ka dako nga tabang sa among matag kinahanglanon (I thank the government for bringing to us its services. This is a big help to us in our daily need), Elena said after she received assistance from DSWD.

The concerted efforts of Misamis Occidental E-CLIP Committee demonstrate the Philippine government’s commitment to put an end to insurgency by providing package of assistance and other programs geared to address social healing and national unity for a just and lasting peace. (DILG Misamis Occidental/[LGOO II Bill C. Odchigue])