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DSWD holds 4th leg field study on Sorsogon ex-rebels for peace, dev’t initiatives

DSWD peace initiatives in Sorsogon
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Asst Secretary for Inclusive Sustainable Peace and Special Concerns (ISPSC) Arnel Garcia leads the conduct of focus group discussions and interviews with former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in the province of Sorsogon as part of the agency’s peace and development initiatives.

As part of its ongoing efforts to improve the agency’s peace and development initiatives, a team from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) conducted the fourth leg of its benchmarking study and field research in the municipalities of Juban, Bulan, and Casiguran in the province of Sorsogon on April 16 to 17.

“The field study aims to develop a comprehensive Case Management (CM) guide catering to former members of various non-state groups, violent extremist groups, and adults and children in armed conflict situations,” Asst. Secretary for Inclusive-Sustainable Peace and Special Concerns (ISPSC) Arnel Garcia, who led the benchmarking team, said on Friday (April 19).

The team, composed of personnel from the ISPSC and Field Office-5 (Bicol Region), held a series of focus group discussion (FGDs) and interviews with the family of a former rebel (FR) in Harong Paglaom Half-Way House, former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), local community leaders in Casiguran, and former rebel case holders in the province.

“These activities will help the agency to gain insights for the crafting of deradicalization modules for the implementation of the agency’s Peace and Development Buong Bansa Mapayapa (PD-BBM) Program,” Asst. Sec. Garcia pointed out.

After the conduct of FGDs, some 13 former rebels from Juban and Bulan received Php10,000 cash relief assistance each from the DSWD’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) Program.

“This initiative of extending support to communities in Juban and Bulan, Sorsogon, provides tangible assistance to former rebels transitioning to civilian life, aiding their rebuilding and societal reintegration,” Asst. Sec. Garcia said.

The peace and development team also paid courtesy visits to Juban Mayor Gloria Alindogan and the Office of Casiguran Mayor Maria Minez Hamor represented by Vice Mayor Dennis Alfonso L. Escudero.

The DSWD presented the local chief executives with Certificates of Appreciation for their LGUs’ contribution to the overall peace in their respective communities.

The CM Guide enhancement is in line with DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian’s directive to identify effective psychosocial interventions, in addition to short-term cash and material assistance, for the individual’s full transformation as he gets reintegrated into the community – productive, assimilated, and active in community development.

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