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Gov’t allocates P5M fund for rebel returnees’ halfway houses

  • Written by Joel dela Torre
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 779

ELIGIBLE provinces and cities may avail the P5 million fund for the construction of halfway houses that will accommodate former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.

A halfway house, as defined under Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2016-02 between the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), refers to the temporary residence that serves as the processing center for former rebels.
    
This could be a new physical structure that will be established in provinces or HUCs that have expressed the need for such facility.
    
DILG Officer-in-Charge Catalino Cuy said the government is offering such incentive under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) while peace talks with the communist rebels are ongoing.
    
As this developed, Cuy issued guidelines that enumerate the systems and procedures that should be followed by concerned provinces and highly-urbanized cities in order to access fund intended for the construction of a halfway house.
    
The CLIP, which began in 2014, aims to contribute towards achieving the goal of permanent and peaceful closure of all armed conflicts with non-state armed groups.
    
Specifically, it aims to facilitate the mainstreaming of former NPA rebels as productive citizens; enhance capacities of local government units (LGUs) and national government agencies in the implementation and sustainability of the CLIP; and compensate and remunerate all turned-in firearms including those coming from the Militia ng Bayan.
    
Cuy said eligible LGUs are provinces and HUCs that have requested financial support for the construction of halfway house for their enrolled former rebels.
    
Other provinces and HUCs that will request for financial assistance will also be provided but subject to the availability of funds.
    
Cuy said the guidelines cover Kalinga, Mountain Province, Northern Samar, Negros Oriental, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, and North Cotabato.