By Rhoda Grace B. Saron
The city government has set up a halfway home where New People’s Army rebels who surrendered to the government could stay for six months to prepare them before they head back to their communities and families.
The city government, in collaboration with the Department of Interior and Local Government, built the P10 million Kalinaw Village, which will open next month, so that the former rebels could engage in transitional activities to prepare themselves as they eventually assimilate into the communities they left behind when they joined the rebel movement.
Ma. Luisa Bermudo, head of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), said: “Right now, the admin building is already finished, while the construction of the dormitories is already around 40 percent.”
The project, whose funding was equally split between the city government and the DILG, will halve dormitories for men and women and a conjugal home. Conceptualized in 2018, its construction started about a year ago.
Before they are admitted to the facility, the former rebels will still undergo a 14-day de-radicalization process under the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
At the village, among their activities include learning new livelihood and other similar skills training activities and psychological and psychosocial interventions.
They will also benefit from the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), an assistance that includes their enrolment in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
Bermudo said that the intervention program is important before the former rebels are integrated into the community and their families.
“They have been there for how many years – sa kalihokan. They have been away from society for so long. So, ang halfway home ang intervention program bago nato sila ibalik sa ilang pamilya ug komunidad ,” she said.
In establishing the Kalinaw Village, the city government also collaborated with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and other agencies for the intervention programs.
The setting up of the facility is part of Executive Order No. 70 which created the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict through the whole-of-nation approach.
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