As part of their reintegration process into their communities, 322 former members of the extremists Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) on Tuesday (November 21) were given seed capital and emergency cash assistance by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to enable them to lead normal lives in Sulu province.
The 322 former ASG extremists who are now undergoing transformative reintegration came mostly from the municipalities of Patikul, Indanan, Talipao, and Maimbung in Sulu province.
The former extremists have undergone military and social orientation prior to receiving the seed capital and cash aid from the DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) and the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program. They also received food packs and hygiene kits from the DSWD Regional Field Office 9 based in Zamboanga City.
According to DSWD Undersecretary for Inclusive-Sustainable Peace and Special Concerns (ISPSC) Alan Tanjusay, the payout was in continuation of the Department services to the 713 ex-ASG who surrendered to the Philippine Army in August this year and were later endorsed to the DSWD.
“This is DSWD’s fulfilment of President Marcos’ leadership commitment to provide transformative reintegration programs to former rebels, this time, ex-ASG members in partnership with the campaign of our Armed Forces and Sulu provincial government and Maimbung local government units in reaching out to difficult communities and address root causes of extremism,” Undersecretary Tanjusay pointed out.
“The DSWD is thankful to our ex-ASG brothers who trusted the Department in their journey to live in peace and become productive citizens, ” Usec. Tanjusay said.
The ASG-beneficiaries of SLP and AICS will undergo monitoring and case management to ensure the success of their chosen micro-business enterprises with the DSWD providing support to their journey toward transformation, Usec. Tanjusay explained.
The payout activity was conducted in collaboration with the Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force and the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).