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Distance, security concerns hinder ex-rebels from accepting free housing

BEING relocated from their homes and livelihood, on top of security concerns, are the primary factors why former rebels refuse the free housing units given to them as part of the government’s assistance. 

Atty. Elisa Evangelista-Lapiña, Office of Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) Eastern Mindanao director, said they received no takers for the housing units initially located in Tugbok District. 

Instead, they opted to return to their homes in Paquibato District.

Lapiña added that the surrenderees also wanted their security guaranteed before transferring to the government relocation sites. 

Kung saan man sila ilalagay, meron silang livelihood, o kung saan sila uuwi, healed ba ang community, tanggap ba sila,” Lapiña said.

Lapiña revealed some beneficiaries also rejected the housing units because they had no sense of ownership as to the location and design. As a result, their office will be including the FRs in future planning to have more stake in their new homes. 

Ang mga FR ang nagsasabi kung saan sila komportable. Hindi pwede na mag Santa Claus tayo sa ating mga FR na kung anong sa tingin natin ay okay yan sa iyo, what might be okay sa kanila sa ating paningin, might not okay for them (They FRs will tell us where they would be comfortable instead of us playing Santa Claus and assume that what may be okay for us is also okay for them),” Lapiña said.

The official also urged the public to welcome the FRs back to the community for them “to live a normal life.” “Whatever the doctrine is in their minds was already reversed by the government through psychosocial intervention,” she added.


Photo courtesy: MinDA


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