PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte, through Administrative Order (AO) 10, has created an inter-agency task force for the reintegration of former communist rebels.
Under AO 10, inked by Duterte on Tuesday, April 3, Task Force Balik Loob is formed to ensure the "effective and timely" implementation of the government's efforts to reintegrate former communist guerillas.
The task force will be chaired by a representative from the Department of National Defense (DND). Other members will come from the DND, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (Opapp), the Office of the President, and the National Housing Authority.
The signing of AO 10 came after Duterte previously held a series of meetings with former rebels, assuring them that the government would provide support to help them be reintegrated back to the society.
The Comprehensive Local Integration Program (Clip) and Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Pamana) are the government's existing programs for rebels who wish to abandon armed struggle and become productive members of the society.
The Clip, administered by the DILG, seeks to facilitate the mainstreaming of rebel returnees as productive citizens.
Pamana, on the other hand, is supervised by the Opapp and is a program designed as conflict-sensitive and peace-promoting to avoid the recurrence of any source of conflict.
Duterte's AO pushed for an enhanced Clip (e-Clip) to provide complete package of assistance to former members of the communist group, as well as their immediate family members, who surfaced starting July 1, 2016.
The President directed Task Force Balik Loob to boost the linkage of the e-Clip with the Pamana, with due regard to the individual needs of former rebels and their families.
"The government shall pursue a comprehensive, integrated and community-based national program that is locally implemented to address the legal status and security of former rebels, as well as their economic, social and psychological rehabilitation needs," the AO 10 read.
"[The government shall also] provide immediate to long-term interventions that are supported by strengthened institutions to ensure effective implementation and attainment of these desired outcomes," it added. (SunStar Philippines)