SAN JOSE, Antique (PIA) - - Former rebels (FRs) from the different towns of Antique recently received financial assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the amount of P5,000 each.
Yasser T. Mainggen of DSWD 6 said that the financial assistance is part of the commitment of the Agency to the implementation of Executive order No. 70 or whole-of-nation approach to End Local Communist and Armed Conflict (ELCAC).
During the distribution activity held in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique, two former rebels stood up in behalf of the group to express their gratitude to the government for helping them as they return to the folds of the law.
A total of 39 FRs were given cash assistance and food packs by DSWD in partnership with the Provincial Government of Antique.
Peace and Order and Public Safety Consultant and lead convenor of Provincial Task Force ELCAC Margie L. Gadian reiterated the commitment of the government to help these FRs to be integrated with their respective communities.
Likewise, Vice Governor Edgar Denosta lauded the former rebels for their courage to return to the folds of the government that could truly help them in times of need.
Denosta, speaking as acting governor on behalf of Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao, emphasized that peace and order is essential in attaining a progressive community.
He cited that Antique has a lot of potential in tourism that could give them work and livelihood if the peace and order is favorable.
Thus, he encouraged the FRs to get involved in the activities of their barangays and support government efforts to ensure peace and stability in their communities.
He also vowed to initiate legislative measures to give them livelihood or training programs for their empowerment.
Antique Police Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Artillero, in behalf of the Antique Philip-
pine National Police, also committed to support these FRs and requested them to encourage others, who are still hiding from government troops, to return home and avail of government assistance.
The turnover ceremony was also attended by the representatives from the Office of Presidential Adviser on Peace Process- Reconciliation and Unity, Philippine Army, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office and other members of the Provincial Task Force ELCAC. (JBG/PSM/PIA-Antique)