THE GOVERNMENT opened on Monday the “Balay Panaghiusa,” a halfway house for former rebels inside the 60th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Asuncion, Davao del Norte.
The facility is part of the peace and development campaign of the Davao del Norte provincial government and the Philippine Army.
Leading the inauguration of the facility were Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib and Major General Reuben S Basiao, commander of the 10th Infantry Division. Also present were Gen Luis Rex Bergante and Gen. Nolasco Mempin, brigade commanders of the 1001st and 1003rd Brigades, respectively.
The facility was funded through the Enhance Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) assistance project of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Task Force Balik Loob as part of the implementation of Executive Order 70, or the Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) program. Also part of the P5 million funding was the P2 million counterpart from the provincial government.
The facility is equipped with basic amenities such as multipurpose hall as activity/lecture area, dining and kitchen area, shower, laundry area and bedrooms for single and couple participants.
There is also the administrative office of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office staff as house parents are also to be housed in the facility.
Among the first activity held at the facility was the 10-day de-radicalization program for former rebels with the third batch being attended by 16 former rebels from Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro and Agusan del Sur.
Among those who joined the activity was a former high ranking cadre of the rebels who surrendred last month, bringing with him his rifles.