Sixty-two former rebels in Agusan del Norte received the Livelihood Settlement Grant from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office Caraga at the Agusan del Norte Provincial Training Center, Butuan City on October 12, 2022.
The distribution of livelihood grants is part of the implementation of Executive Order 70, Series of 2018 which seeks to strengthen peace and order in the country.
Under the Sustainable Livelihood Program, each beneficiary received an amount of Php20,000 which serves as a seed capital fund to start a livelihood activity of their choice.
DSWD Undersecretary for Operations Group Jerico Francis L. Javier, together with Assistant Secretary for Mindanao Affairs Arnel B. Garcia, Assistant Secretary for Statutory Programs Elaine F. Fallarcuna, and Regional Director Mari-Flor A. Dollaga, led the distribution of grants to the former rebels.
In his message, Undersecretary Javier expressed that the national and local governments are always ready to provide the assistance needed by the former rebels in starting a new life. He said that the Livelihood Settlement Grant is only one of the measures of government to help them in their journey.
Agusan del Norte Governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante also graced the event to show her support to the Department and former rebels who decided to turn their backs against the armed struggle and surrender to the government.
Governor Amante encouraged the former rebels and their families to stand by their decision and join the government in this peace movement. Amante said, “Kung muingon ta nga muuban ta sa gobyerno, muuban jud ta (If we say that we will join the government, let’s be true to it).”
Further, one of the beneficiaries expressed her gratitude to the government for the help and support given to her and to the former rebels. She also rallied among her fellow surrenderees to work hard for their proposed livelihood activities to prosper and sustain.
“Manghnaot ko nga kinasing-kasing pud nato ang tabang sa gobyerno. Naghatag sa ato ang gobyerno og kantidad nga Php20,000 para sa atong panginabuhian. Dapat maningkamot ta unsaon paglago ani nga kantidad (I am hoping that we will value the help we received from the government. The government gave us Php20,000 for our livelihood. Hence, let us strive hard to multiply this amount),” the beneficiary said.
Also present during the activity were Assistant Regional for Administration Atty. Faizal A. Padate and OIC-Assistant Regional Director for Operations Jean Paul S. Parajes. Partners from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, at Provincial Government of Agusan del Norte joined the ceremony as well. (Social Marketing Section/DSWD Field Office Caraga)