PROMPT AND CARING SERVICE. Social Welfare and Development Undersecretary Rene Glen Paje shares how his Department aims to provide a more enhanced social protection and more personalized services to the former rebels (FRs).
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Undersecretary Rene Glen Paje enjoined active members of the communist terrorist group (CTG) and violent extremists to lay down their arms and return to mainstream society, adding that the public also has to be fully aware of the deception of the CTG and help the government as partners and warriors for peace.
“Yung mga aktibo pa, nag-iisip tayo ng mga paraan kung paano sila mahihikayat na tumigil na sa kanilang wala namang saysay na pakikipaglaban at pare-pareho naman tayong maghahangad ng mapayapa at masayang pamumuhay,” Undersecretary Paje said.
Speaking in May at the radio-television program of Task Force Balik-Loob, “Balik-Loob sa Pagbabago,” aired over DWDD (1134kHz) AFP Radio and KTVQ2 Cable Channel 107, Undersecretary Paje shared that the DSWD is currently in talks with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and other agencies to expand the scope of assistance not only to the FRs but also to the former and current violent extremists.
The DSWD official shared that the ongoing pandemic posed a great challenge in terms of delivering and communicating further the services to the FRs under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP). Although this may be the case, Undersecretary Paje expressed the Department’s commitment and the prevailing sense of leadership of the agency and local government units (LGUs) to serve those who are in need.
He also emphasized that the DSWD is in continuous discussion with other government agencies for the enhancement of social protection of the FRs, as well as the provision of necessary services such as sustainable livelihood programs, enrolment to 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) and Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) are designed in order for them to start anew.
“We have seen many success stories that because of their chosen new life, efforts and prayers, their life became prosperous,” Undersecretary Paje said. “This, hopefully, can serve as an example to the rebels. Let us take advantage of this remaining time (to surrender).”
With his previous experience as a member of the Philippine Army, Undersecretary Paje became aware of the condition of the FRs in the far-flung communities, thus igniting his vision to help them return to society and bring them back to their respective families. For him, E-CLIP is a vital tool to help the returning rebels reintegrate back into their communities and live a more peaceful life.
Facilitated by inter-agency Task Force Balik-Loob (TFBL), E-CLIP continues to provide a wide range of benefits based on the particular needs of the FRs and their families. These benefits include financial assistance, housing, education, skills training, healthcare, and legal assistance, among others, delivered through the merging of various national and local government agencies.
Meanwhile, TFBL was organized to monitor and assess the implementation of E-CLIP to the national level. Established pursuant to Administrative Order No. 10 of President Duterte, TFBL includes the Department of Social Welfare Development, and other lead government agencies as well as other partner agencies that may be tapped to provide additional benefits and services to FRs.