20 Aurora former rebels receive P300K cash assistance

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By Jason de Asis

BALER, Aurora-Twenty former rebels (FRs) who are members of the Sambayanan Association, a people’s organization (PO) will certainly welcome the Christmas season happily as they received an advance cash livelihood assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the efforts of Philippine Army’s 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Battalion on Monday.

 Lt. Col. Julito B. Recto, Jr., commander of 91st IB said that the Sambayanan Association has received P300,000 worth of livelihood cash assistance as part of the government’s effort to help them start new lives.

According to Recto, the amount of money will be used for the piggery business of the group, hoping that they will carefully use the assistance while turning back to the mainstream society. “Our government is sincere in changing the lives of our FRs, it is now in their hands to use it to become more productive. Even though it is a small amount, we know that it can help, we continually tap the different concerned agencies to help them to get more livelihood assistance. We do support you in any way we can to the fullest level,” Recto said, explaining that the local government agencies are continually implementing the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

Recto said that opportunity comes but it is always upon the FRs how they are going to invest wisely the opportunity or the money given to them. He also expressed his congratulations to the beneficiaries and thanked San Luis town Mayor Ariel de Jesus and DSWD for the continuous help to the FRs.

On the other hand, Mayor de Jesus lauded the efforts of 91st IB and other concerned agencies for the continuous livelihood grants to FRs as they continually took steps to rebuild their lives. “We don’t need to fight with others but we could work hand in hand for the betterment of the people living peacefully. Rest assured that the local government unit of San Luis will allot livelihood assistance yearly to FRs,” de Jesus said.

DSWD EO 70 spokesperson Lamberto Elijah C. Villanueva said that the assistance given is through the efforts of 91st IB and LGU. “Because of them, we are gathered here towards a common purpose that is to uplift the FRs livelihood. This is a bonus to our FRs and we are willing to give technical assistance and other matters that they need,” Villanueva said.

Sambayanan Association President Ka Edgar said that the livelihood assistance is a great help to the FRs’ transition to the mainstream society to make the group much stronger.

He also expressed his gratitude as they received the cash assistance to be used as piggery in San Luis, Aurora. “We thanked everyone in the government for giving us this money. This would greatly help us in starting another livelihood,” Ka Edgar said.

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