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Eastern Samar Peace and Reconciliation Program
This program was launched in 1992 to control insurgency through non-violence and uplift the lives of the rebel returnees through livelihood projects and other basic services. A province-wide suspension of military operations was declared. The program peacefully resolved the armed conflict and institutionalized a reintegration process for rebel returnees.
The program components included the Bayanihan Center which served as a reception and transition house for rebel returnees and organizational development to promote and strengthen the organizations of rebel returnees. To lure the rebels back to society's mainstream, the local government officials and peace advocates conducted peace rallies, dialogues. barangay sorties, medical and dental missions. Radio programs were used to communicate to the rebels to have ceasefire agreement.
The rebel returnees were provided with financial assistance, value reorientation. Basic management skills, and livelihood projects. After three years of implementation, a total of 546 rebel returnees and their immediate families were benefited by the program. And Eastern Samar, once a hotbed of communist insurgency, is now known as the peace capital of the country.
This program is recognized as a Trailblazing Program, a finalist for the 1996 Galing Pook Awards.
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