President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the creation of an inter-agency task force to resettle rebel returnees, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Tuesday.
During a meeting with his Cabinet on Monday, Duterte approved the Department of Agrarian Reform’s proposal to create a task force to relocate rebel returnees to places with idle government land, Nograles said.
“We want to speed up the distribution of land because we know its big role in our peace efforts,” Nograles said in a virtual presser.
The government, he said, had so far distributed 6,406.6 hectares of land in Cagayan Valley, Bicol, Eastern Visayas and Davao.
He said the distributed pieces of land were “larger than the City of Manila,” which has an area of 4,288 hectares.
Apart from the creation of the task force, Duterte also approved the DAR’s proposal to direct the military and the police to provide security measures in the government-owned land in the areas found to be “critical in nature.
Nograles says Duterte also approved the recommendation to instruct government agencies to identify idle government land that are ideal for distribution to rebel returnees.
The implementation of the “whole-of-nation approach” for the enhancement of livelihood support projects to rebel returnees had also been approved, Nograles said.
On Feb. 5, Duterte signed four proclamations granting amnesty to members of the communist movement, the Moro National Liberation Front, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade.
The granting of amnesty, according to the presidential proclamations, is in line with the government’s peace policy to nurture a climate conducive for peace and implement programs for reconciliation and reintegration of rebels into mainstream society.
On May 29, 2018, the Department of National Defense issued the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) directing the Task Force “Balik Loob” to enforce the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), the government’s program for former rebels.
Under E-CLIP, former rebels can avail of PHP15,000 worth of immediate assistance, PHP21,000 to defray the subsistence or meals cost, support to relocate and secure their family, PHP50,000 livelihood assistance, temporary shelter, PhilHealth enrolment, medical assistance, housing assistance, modified conditional cash transfer, legal assistance, and livelihood assistance.