Defense Undersecretary Reynaldo B. Mapagu, Task Force Balik-Loob (TFBL) Chairperson, headed the dialogue with Bohol former rebels (FR’s), concerned Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) units, PNP, NBI, Provincial Government of Bohol, and Provincial Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) Committee members yesterday, January 22, 2019, at the Provincial Capitol, Tagbilaran City, Bohol.
The Bohol E-CLIP Committee meeting served as a forum for the updating of available E-CLIP benefits provided by TFBL partner agencies for the FR’s (locally called as KRs or Kauban/Kasama sa Reporma), including the National Housing Authority (NHA) represented by Architect Susana V. Nonato, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) represented by Deputy Director-General Gaspar Gayona.
One of the FR’s gave his testimony on his experiences as a former member of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), narrating that he had served as an activist while he was still in college until he was directed to join the armed NPA and later became a cadre operating in Mindanao. He surrendered in Bohol Province where he was assisted by the government to answer to his crimes committed. After court hearings, he was found guilty and served a 3-year sentence before his eventual release. He is now happily living with his family as one of the living examples of FR’s with legal cases who successfully undertook the legal processes.
The meeting was followed by a courtesy call on Bohol Governor Edgardo M. Chatto, wherein Ms. Liza Quirog, Chief-of-Staff of Governor Chatto, presented the updates and status of the E-CLIP implementation in the province.
The provincial government of Bohol plans to continue strengthening the 14 FR Clusters present, through monitoring of FR’s and as to their livelihood and reintegration plans, Intensified Peace Advocacy Campaigns, and proposed Tripartite Partnership for the Halfway House.
Governor Chatto explained the necessity of working as a whole in order to address issues regarding peace and conflict, "A partnership of stakeholders at all level brings peace, security, development, and good governance in communities. After all, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts."
To determine and discuss the possible housing benefits provided by NHA, TFBL Chair Usec. Mapagu and Arch. Nonato personally visited the construction of Bohol Youth Homes in Malayo Sur, Cortes, Bohol. The said property was already purchased by the provincial government and is one of the proposed areas to build the housing project for the FR’s and Militia ng Bayan.
The E-CLIP provides a wide array of benefits based on the particular needs of FR’s and their families such as financial assistance, housing, education, skills training, health care, legal assistance, among others through a convergence of various national and local government agencies.
The TFBL, an inter-agency body, monitors and assesses the implementation of E-CLIP at the local government level. Established pursuant to Administrative Order No. 10 of President Duterte, the TFBL is a whole-of-government body that includes the Department of National Defense (DND), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Office of the President, National Housing Authority (NHA) and the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace Process (OPAPP) as among its lead agencies, and other government agencies and instrumentalities as partner agencies that may be tapped to provide additional benefits and services to FR’s.