The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has allotted an initial amount of PHP100 million for the implementation of its Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Program (DILEEP) for former Moro rebels.
DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello announced this after he and Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. signed a memorandum of agreement extending the DILEEP for the speedy transformation of former Moro rebels into productive members of the society.
“This partnership is focused on assisting former rebels to transition into civilian lives, and facilitate their transformation and the six MILF camps into peaceful and productive communities through employment facilitation, and sustainable livelihood assistance,” Bello said during the signing ceremonies at the DOLE main office in Intramuros, Manila.
“Ngayon, to transform itong mga (Now, to transform these) combatants to normal lives and their communities into peaceful communities, our department is willing to share with Sec. Galvez, PHP100 million for the implementation of the DOLE integrated livelihood program together with the emergency employment program,” he added.
Bello said the livelihood program is popularly known as Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD).
Under the agreement, the DOLE will assist on the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) Normalization Program through the provision of emergency employment under its TUPAD program.
The DOLE will also provide employment facilitation programs and services to the former rebels under the Government Internship Program and Special Program for Employment of Students.
Bello said the partnership also aims to support the Duterte administration’s agenda of just and lasting peace in Mindanao by providing sustainable livelihood and employment opportunities which are seen as the best solution to end violent extremism.
Galvez said the DOLE and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) are the first government agencies to provide assistance in the implementation of the CAB Normalization Program by transforming six MILF camps into peaceful and resilient communities.
“We hope that through this collaboration, DOLE will continue to provide support during the succeeding stages of the normalization program and bring us closer to our vision of achieving ensuring peace and sustainable development in Bangsamoro,” Galvez said.
He said 5,000 MILF combatants have already been decommissioned and the OPAAP intends that “those 12,000 will be decommissioned this 2019”. (PNA)