SINACABAN, MISAMIS OCCIDENTAL – Promoting the administration’s goals for a whole-of-nation approach in achieving sustainable peace, the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) Committee of Misamis Occidental conducted the Community-based Monitoring and Hatod Serbisyo Caravan that delivered goods and services to residents of San Lorenzo Ruiz, September 14. 

     Joining the committee were its stakeholders: TESDA, PSWDO, DTI, PNP and PAGLAUM Multipurpose Cooperative and other organizations like St. Padre Pio Medical Clinic (Ozamiz City) and faculty and students from Alternative Learning System. Through the efforts of the involved parties, the committee was able to reach the upland village and was gladly met by the residents. 

     “Tumong gayud namo na mahatod ang mga ayuda og serbisyo gikan sa lain-laing ahensya paingon sa mga lisod na lugar sa probinsya aron mahinumduman nila nga kanunay naa ang gobyerno para nila, [Our goal has always been to deliver assistance and services from different agencies to difficult areas within the province to remind them that the government is and has always been there for them]” said DILG Provincial Director Pablio Benitez, Jr to residents and village officials. 

     The objective of the activity was to monitor the progress of Former Rebels (FRs) who have since surrendered to government authorities and have been enrolled to E-CLIP that granted them with cash assistance. The FRs showed a promising shift to their way of living since their reintegration to mainstream society.

     A female surrenderee, is now earning a stable five-digit amount monthly from growing vegetables and raising livestock. She says this would not have been possible without the reintegration assistance she received from E-CLIP. 

     “Lahi na akong kinabuhi karon. Matinuoron na og maka-eskwela na akong mga anak tungod sa akong pangita, [My life is different now. I earn through honest ways and I can send my children to school because of my livelihood]” she said. 

     Another FR recalls how misleading the propaganda of the leftists were and encourages the younger generations to not be swayed with false promises. 

     “Mahimo lamang mong mga piniriso didto sa bukid, pirmi mo tutokan. Lisod kaayo ang kinabuhi didto… Pwede ra ka mamatay sa kagutom o sa bala, [You’ll be prisoners in the mountains, under constant surveillance. Living becomes difficult up there… You can die of hunger or by a bullet]” he testifies during his interview. 

     Unanimously, all FR interviewees heavily encourage active rebels to voluntarily surrender to authorities and be included in the E-CLIP. They are confident that they are now in safest hands under the care of the government. 

     The E-CLIP aims to give FRs an opportunity to come home to their families and a second chance to live life to the fullest by being free from the clutches of insurgency. 

     The launching of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) will be held in San Lorenzo Ruiz and will be spearheaded by the DILG together with the Provincial Government of Misamis Occidental.