Over 300 ex-Abu Sayyaf members get cash aid from DSWD
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Sulu said 322 former Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members have received seed capital and emergency cash assistance.
The aid is part of the government’s reintegration program that would allow ex-ASG members to lead “normal” lives in the province, according to the agency.
“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,” DSWD said in a statement Tuesday.
The agency said the former ASG members also received food packs and hygiene kits from the DSWD Regional Field Office 9 based in Zamboanga City.
DSWD Undersecretary for Inclusive-Sustainable Peace and Special Concerns (ISPSC) Alan Tanjusay noted that the payout was in continuation of the department’s services to 713 former ASG members who surrendered to the Philippine Army in August.
“The DSWD is thankful to our ex-ASG brothers who trusted the Department in their journey to live in peace and become productive citizens, ” Tanjusay said.
The DSWD official explained that ASG beneficiaries of SLP and AICS will receive continuous monitoring and case management to guarantee the success of their selected micro-business ventures.
The payout event was carried out in partnership with the Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force, and the Ministry of Social Services and Development of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.