DSWD, OPAPRU give cash aid to 94 MNLF combatants in Basilan

In line with the government’s peace agreements, a total of 94 Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) combatants received financial assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) last July 4 in Lamitan City, Basilan.

Each of the beneficiaries received Php45,000 to help them start their own businesses in their respective communities.

The distribution of cash assistance was led by DSWD Undersecretary Alan Tanjusay and Asst. Secretary Arnel Garcia of the Inclusive Sustainable Peace and Special Concerns (ISPSC) cluster, and DSWD Field Office-9 Asst. Regional Director for Operations (ARDO) Ma. Socorro Macaso.

In his message of commitment, Undersecretary Tanjusay reiterated the DSWD’s continuing contribution in the peace agreements of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the MNLF. This includes the provision of the Bangsamoro Transitory Family Support Package (BTFSP) and the giving out of cash-for-work (CFW) to the combatants.

Undersecretary Tanjusay expressed the agency’s full support to the OPAPRU’s peace and development initiatives, and urged the MNLF combatants to unite with the government toward nation-building.

The provision of BTFSP is in line with the implementation of the MNLF Transformation Program under the 1996 Final Peace Agreement between the GPH and the MNLF.

The DSWD team also paid a courtesy visit to Lamitan City Mayor Roderick Furigay and discussed the services for MNLF combatants and victims of terrorism/extremism.

The meeting highlighted Lamitan City’s current partnership and programs with DSWD such as the Walang Gutom 2027: Food Stamp Program, and assistance during disasters.

Mayor Furigay expressed the city government’s support in the implementation of development projects from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and the national government.

This year, the DSWD and the OPAPRU are set to continue the MNLF verification and socio-economic profiling activities in the BARMM, with the assistance of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the Mindanao State University (MSU).

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