CAMP MELCHOR F DELA CRUZ, Upi, Gamu, Isabela — More than a million pesos worth of Livestock Raising and Egg Laying Production livelihood assistance was turned over to the members of the Salaknib Former Rebels Integrated Farm Association (SARIFA) here on June 25.
Through the joint effort of 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army (5ID), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Local Government Unit (LGU) of San Mariano, Isabela, the livelihood assistance to the Former Rebels (FRs) under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) was inaugurated and turned over to them.
The livelihood project was funded by DOLE amounting to â‚±1,287,592, while the LGU provided financial literacy training and other drills for the readiness of the 43 former rebels in handling their livelihood.
Also, 5ID offered 10 hectares of land temporarily for their livelihood and training.
Last August 26, 2020 SARIFA was given a Certificate of Registration of Workers’ Association signifying the legitimacy of the association.
It is for the mutual aid and protection and promotion of the moral, social and economic well-being of each member subject to all provisions of existing laws and regulations.
Lawyer Joel Gonzales, Regional Director of DOLE Region 02, said it is the utmost pleasure of their agency to extend help and hope for the FRs who chose to live their lives with the government.
“Nagpapatunay ito na ang programa ng gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng Department of Labor and Employment ay nakapag-aabot, nakapagpapabago, at nakapagbibigay ng pag-asa sa ating mga kababayan na naligaw ng landas subalit nagbalik-loob sa ating pamahalaan upang mabago at maiangat nila ang kanilang pamumuhay,” he said.
Gonzales also challenged the FRs to do good in their egg laying production for a year because if they can manage to continuously produce their products, the agency will double the help they have given.
Estaquio Alberto, Chairman of SARIFA thanked the government for giving them a chance to live with their families and with resources for their new living conditions.
Members of the organized SARIFA are all FRs that mirrored the sincerity of the government in helping the FRs regenerate their lives.
He then urged the remaining members of the terrorist Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law.
MGen Laurence E Mina, Commander, 5ID said in his message that was delivered by BGen Audrey Pasia, Assistant Division Commander, the government is working hard to end local communist armed conflict.
“This activity is an affirmation that the government forces and its agencies are working to give what is best for our Former Rebels,” he said.
“We can now see that the Whole-of-Nation Approach against the insurgency is the finest solution to address the armed conflict not only in Cagayan Valley and Cordillera Regions but also in the whole Philippines. Together with the government agencies, we will not back down in giving assistance for those who returned and will return to folds of the law,” Mina said.
“Para sa mga miyembro ng SARIFA, patuloy ang ginagawa naming koordinasyon sa mga ahensya ng pamahalaan upang maibigay ang mga programa at serbisyo na kinakailangan ninyo para sa inyong tuluy-tuloy na pagbabagong buhay. Hindi pa huli ang lahat upang makabangon muli,” he concluded.