The ASG Returnees: A Genesis

On a fine Friday morning of June 16, 2017 at Buli-Buli Municipal Hall, Sumisip Municipality marked a significant event … a comprehensive Profiling of the ASG Returnees. The program commenced for the sole purpose of profiling of the 73 ASG returnees reported by the AFP 4th Special Forces Battalion to surrender few weeks before this activity. The program was initiated by the following interagency; Spearheaded by the Regional Government of ARMM-Regional Governor Mujiv S. Hataman, in collaboration with the Provincial Government of Basilan under the leadership of Governor Jim S. Hataman Salliman represented by Provincial Administrator Mr. Uso Dan Salasim, carried out by the Provincial Health Office supervised by Provincial Health Office/Officer In-charge Mr. Harrybert Hadjala, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office led by Mr. Anwary Acalun and Municipal Local Government of Sumisip preceded by Mayor Gulam Hataman. Also other agencies with significant involvement were Basilan Ulama Supreme Council managed by Chairman and Grand Mufti RDI-ARMM DR. Aboulkhair Tarason, AFP 4th Special Forces Battalion of Barangay Cabunbata commanded by 1st LT. Ron Jr. Villarosa, and NAGDILAAB a non-government foundation directed by Ms. Miriam Suacito

The opening ceremony started at 9:40 am, the returnees were shortly briefed by the Regional Governor as witnessed by the different agency represented by their head. The actual interview started at 11:30 am. Each from the following agencies PHO, PSWD and NAGDILAAB is required to have a disclosure interview one on one with the returnees. But then, all of the information obtained was kept strictly confidential. For the interview we used a tool in gathering their answers, a set of questionnaire pretested by the AFP 4th SpecialForces Battalion on other returnees.The main objective was to assess their needs and eventually to determine the medium and long term interventions such as Social Protection Package. The package includes health and medical assistance, issuance of identification cards/certifications, educational assistance, community reconciliation and life skills training. Legal, Security and Disarmament Package is also a part of the intervention which comprises the following; legal counsel, security guarantees, disarmament and relocation assistance. Lastly the Economic Mainstreaming Package that covers the employment referral and self-employment /microenterprise development of former ASG rebels.

The interview process last for 3 hours then at 2:40 pm a proper closure of the program ended the activity.

As for the Provincial Health Office report there was11 staff who conducted the actual interview and a total of 24 ASG returnees had been interviewed. Each was indeed assessed promptly and directly. Based from the results of 24 who were interviewed 91.67% of them needed the Social Protection Package and 100% of all the returnees necessitates for the Legal, Security and Disarmament Package as well as the Economic Mainstreaming Package. Out of the 73 reported ASG returnees 32.88% had accomplished by the Provincial Health Office.

Interviewer SOCIAL PROTECTION PACKAGE LEGAL, SECURITY AND DISARMAMENT PACKAGE ECONOMIC MAINSTREAMING PACKAGE TOTAL NUMBER OF RETURNEES INTERVIEWED
I 4 4 4 4
II 2 2 2 2
III 3 3 3 3
IV 0 2 2 2
V 2 2 2 2
VI 1 1 1 1
VII 1 1 1 1
VIII 2 2 2 2
IX 2 2 2 2
X 3 3 3 3
XI 2 2 2 2
TOTAL 22 24 24 24
Intervention needed by the returnees 91.67% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%
Total Number of returnees interviewed by the PHO (24)
versus total number of the ASG returnees (73)
30.14% 32.88% 32.88% 32.88%

The profiling will provide an in depth information of the returnees in terms of intervention to be provided by the Provincial Government of Basilan and the ARMM government to the returnees and their families.