THIRTY-ONE rebel returnees received their cash assistance worth P15,000 each from the Provincial Capitol of Nabunturan in Compostela Valley Province.
A total of P465,000 was divided among the 31 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) coming from the province of Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur and Comval who had now surrendered to the authorities and whose age ranged from 15 to 45.
Minors covered under the program were given care and educational assistance by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office through their head, Josephine Frasco.
The Department of Interior and Local Government DILG-Compostella Valley Provincial Director Noel Duarte said the former rebels will start up a business through the cash assistance worth P50,000, which will be distributed next together with the firearms remuneration.
Officials of the DILG also added they will continuously give their support to the former rebels through the comprehensive local integration program.
Prior to this, four rebels had surrendered to the authorities with their firearms and had stated that they can no longer bear their situations in the mountains.
"Ini-encourage natin ang grupong NPA na mag-surrender kasi may programa tayo nito na para sa inyo (We are encouraging the members of the NPA to surrender to the authorities because we have a program that will help them)," Captain Rhyan Batchar, spokesperson of the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, said.
With the on-going peace talks, the army is asking the rebels to be reunited with the law and celebrate with the rest of the people on Christmas day and live peacefully with their families.
The awarding ceremony was headed by Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy and DILG-Compostella Valley.