BALER, AURORA – Eighteen (18) former NPA rebels were awarded fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) worth of livelihood assistance each with a total of nine hundred thousand pesos (P900,000.00) from the Social Integration Program (SIP) of the government during the Aurora Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting yesterday June 28, 2011, 4:00pm at the governor’s conference room, Aurora province.
The awarding of the livelihood assistance was spearheaded by the Provincial Government of Aurora through Hon. Bellaflor J. Angara-Castillo, Governor of Aurora as Chairperson of the PPOC and the Philippine Army with COL HENRY G SABARRE, Deputy Brigade Commander of 702nd Bde and LTC KURT A DECAPIA, Commanding Officer of 48IB as its representative being the unit operating in the province. The activity was witnessed by; PSSUPT IRVIN B GUMBAN, Provincial Director of Aurora PNP; Mrs Aida H. Rutaquio, Head of Provincial Welfare and Development and other members of Aurora Peace and Order Council and representatives from the private sector.
Governor Bellaflor J. Angara-Castillo assured the former rebels that they will be given assistance in the implementation of their chosen livelihood. She said that LTC DECAPIA of 48IB and the Provincial Cooperative Office will facilitate the creation of cooperative for former rebels and make sure that the livelihood assistance will surely be productive and sustainable.
The provincial government is sincere in helping former members of the NPA to be able to start a new life. “In addition to the livelihood assistance, the provincial government of Aurora will provide a housing project that will initially provide shelter to at least forty (40) beneficiaries. The said project is targeted to start on October this year. “We envisioned this project as a self sustaining community with schools, health center and livelihood in order for the beneficiaries to have a better life”, added Governor Angara-Castillo.
Asked about his plan on the remaining armed groups in his area of operation, LTC KURT A DECAPIA, the Commanding Officer of 48IB, operating in the province said that, though the government always open its the door for the peaceful returns of the NPA, his unit will continue to hunt those who remained to be using the underground movement for their personal interest. “We are always encouraging members of the NPA to return to the folds of the law peacefully but we are also always ready to protect the people if they try to destroy the peace and stability of Aurora province. The people already realized that insurgency is the hindrance of development. They already felt the effect of “Insurgency Free Aurora” with a lot of infrastructure development and increase in economic and tourism activity. We will not allow any group that will hamper these developments”, DECAPIA ended.