President Rodrigo Duterte turned over housing units to 34 former rebels in Barangay Cuamboagan, Tagum City.
The project, dubbed Freedom Residences, was formerly earmarked for military and police personnel. But due to the need to allocate housing units for the former rebels under Administrative Order No. 10 dated April 3, 2018, NHA General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr recommended for the reallocation of the housing units.
In his speech, Duterte told former rebels to work hard for their lives and return back to school to invest for the future.
The President reiterated that the problem of insurgency often stems from the inability of the government to provide basic services for the people, especially in far-flung areas. That’s a trend his administration is trying to reverse.
“I am glad to welcome these former rebels as they commence their reintegration to the society,” he said.
The AFP-PNP housing boards waived their rights to the project in favor of the former rebels.
According to the implementing rules and regulations, the NHA management is committed to provide housing assistance worth P450,000 to each surrenderee.
Former rebels with existing housing units may also avail of the assistance but it only be limited to repairs, rehabilitation or improvement worth P100,000 under the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
In Freedom Residences, 60 housing units were classified as ready for occupancy.
Based on the record of Task Force Balik Loob, there are already more than 10,000 NPAs who returned to the folds of the law.
The President assured of the government’s commitment to take concrete measures in addressing their needs, including financial assistance, firearms remuneration, and housing units.
Duterte also promised to build schools to provide better education for the former rebels’ children.