DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista (3rd from the left), together with (from left to right) Senator Miguel Zubiri, National Security Adviser and National Security Council Director-General Hermogenes C. Esperon, Jr., and Ambassador Faith Ulusoy, Chairman of Independent Decommissioning Body, welcomes a former MILF combatant to the fold of the law during the decommissioning activity in Sultan Kudarat.

SULTAN KUDARAT, MAGUINDANAO — In support of the administration’s thrust to attain lasting peace and national unity, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), has released more than P119 million in financial assistance for some 1,190 decommissioned former combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) during a payout activity on September 7 in Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

President Rodrigo Duterte, DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista, and other government officials met with the ex-combatants and witnessed the distribution of the assistance.

The Department’s Field Office in Region XII facilitated the distribution of assistance where each decommissioned combatant received P80,000 under the Bangsamoro Transitory Family Support Package (BTFS) and another P20,000 through the Livelihood Settlement Grant (LSG).

The aid packages form part of the Socio-Economic Program component provided for under Executive Order (EO) No. 79 which focuses on the Normalization Track of Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed on March 27, 2019.

EO 79 aims to reintegrate decommissioned MILF combatants to mainstream society through provision of livelihood and other appropriate programs and services. CAB seeks to bring about a just and lasting peace and development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

On August 9, 2019, DSWD and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) forged a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the implementation of the socio-economic programs for the decommissioned MILF combatants. The agreement formalized the P1.26 billion funding support of OPAPP to DSWD for this endeavor.

A total of 7,163 decommissioned combatants are expected to receive assistance from the government, through DSWD, for this year. -30-