In line with the ongoing efforts to reintegrate former rebels and their families to mainstream society, Task Force Balik-Loob and Land Bank of the Philippines signed a Memorandum of Agreement last Dec. 13 for the facilitation of loans to the former as part of the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.
The signing of the MOA took place at the LBP main office in Malate, Manila, the TFBL said in a statement sent to reporters Monday.
It was signed by TFBL chairman, Defense Undersecretary Reynaldo B. Mapagu, and LBP president and chief executive officer Alex V. Buenaventura.
Under the lending program for FRs covered by the MOA, LBP may provide loans up to P100,000 to fund small and micro-enterprises, agriculture, and other means of livelihood.
FRs over the age of 21 who have no pending cases are qualified to avail of the loan program.
Those disqualified due to age or have pending cases can designate a family member, who will be listed as the borrower in their stead.
FRs can submit their loan applications to LBP lending units across the country, including proof of identification and certification from the Joint AFP-PNP Intelligence Committee.
Aside from processing, evaluating, and approving the loan applications of FRs based on their eligibility and lending parameters, LBP will also conduct loan counseling and financial literacy seminars to former rebels prior to release of their loans.
Mapagu, in his speech, thanked the Land Bank of the Philippines for supporting the government’s reintegration programs under the E-CLIP. PNA
“The Landbank’s Slogan: ‘We help you grow,’ now also encompasses former rebels who wish to increase their capacity in their chosen livelihood, empowering not only himself and his family, but also his community,” he said.
“With this signing of agreement, the Land Bank of the Philippines is a welcome addition to our list of partner agencies which will definitely have an important role in our peace and reintegration efforts for our former rebels,” the TFBL chairman added.
Buenaventura, for his part, expressed full support for E-CLIP, saying that it is his personal desire to uplift the lives of former rebels and ensure they don’t end up living lives of poverty.
“We are happy to provide financing for some 5,000 FRs. Ang source ng lahat ng problema natin sa NPA ay kahirapan. I want to deal with the E-CLIP from that angle, to address the poverty of these people. I will think of our FRs and think of how our agribusiness companies can help employ them,” he said.
The lending program of LandBank is now one of the assistance FRs can avail of under the E-CLIP.
The E-CLIP is the flagship program of the Duterte administration that seeks to effect social healing and national unity through a whole-of-nation approach towards the higher objective of having just and lasting peace.
It provides social equity to former members of the CPP-NPA-NDF and the Militia ng Bayan by devising a different modality of providing benefits and services to the FRs, in order to reintegrate them into mainstream society.
These benefits do not serve as an end, but rather a means to aid the FRs in securing a foothold in restarting their lives.
Unlike previous government rebel reintegration programs, the E-CLIP provides a wider array of benefits based on the particular needs of FRs and their families such as financial assistance, housing, education, skills training, healthcare, legal assistance, and among others through a convergence of various national and local government agencies.
The TFBL was organized to oversee the implementation of E-CLIP pursuant to Administrative Order No. 10 of President Duterte. It includes DILG, Department of National Defense, Office of the President, National Housing Authority, and the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace among its lead agencies, and other government agencies and instrumentalities as partner agencies that may be tapped to provide additional benefits and services to FRs.