Housing units for 70 former rebels in Bukidnon

FORMER communist rebels in Bukidnon are set to benefit the housing project of the National Housing Authority (NHA) as part of the government's program for insurgents who will abandon the armed struggle and return to the folds of the law, the military said.

In a statement, the Army's 8th Infantry Battalion (8IB) said around 70 Maoist guerillas who surrendered will become beneficiaries of the NHA housing project as part of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-clip).

The recipients underwent an orientation conducted by the NHA in partnership with the 8IB and 403rd Brigade.

The beneficiaries were given the options on whether to avail the house and lot or get a total amount of P450,000 for the renovation of their house if they opt to stay on their place prior to their involvement with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

According to the military, the E-CLIP seeks to contribute toward achieving the goal of permanent and peaceful closure of all armed conflicts with non-state armed groups and mainly focuses in the facilitation of the mainstreaming of former rebels and Militia ng Bayan (MB) as productive citizens, based on the directive issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

"Thus, FRs and MBs are qualified to avail the program, they will be entitled to safety and security guarantees including relocation,” the military said.

"The government made a promise and this is the realization, we have proved that your government is really sincere to implement the program of our president. Through localized peace talks and dialogues, we are expecting more CNTs to return to the folds of the law,” 8IB commander Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Illana said.

"To those CPP-NPA who are still doubtful of our genuine sincerity, I urge you to come down, our door is widely open, it is not too late for you to avail this program and live happily with your loved ones,” he added.

The military said the efficient collaboration of the cognizant government agencies through the "whole of nation approach" only shows that the government is really sincere in its effort to deliver the programs and projects in the conflict-affected areas and to further give a chance to CPP-NPA members who are willing to lay down their arms and embrace peaceful life in the mainstream society.


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