SoCot starts building halfway house for ex-NPA rebels

By Frances Kristine Alvero

March 1, 2019, 4:11 pm

GENERAL SANTOS CITY --The provincial government of South Cotabato said preparatory works are underway for the construction of the halfway house for former and returning New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.

Haide Agustin, head of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, said Friday they are looking at completing the facility, which is supported by a PHP5-million grant from the national government.

Located in Barangay Tinongcop, Tantangan town, the facility broke ground last week and will be built within the compound of the provincial government’s Animal Production and Processing Center.

Agustin said they envision the facility to be a place “where returnees will experience healing process through the services of a social worker.”

She said the facility will have dormitory, basic amenities, and facilities where beneficiaries will be trained on various skills, handle their finances and sustain their livelihood projects.

“The former rebels will temporarily stay in the halfway house while processing their documents,” she said, referring to the application of the returnees to the expanded Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP.

E-CLIP provides beneficiaries with livelihood assistance and other benefits through the convergence of various government agencies.

Severino Samgan, president of a peace advocacy group composed of former rebels from South Cotabato, said the halfway house would be a huge help for their former comrades who want to lead normal lives and return to their communities.

Samgan urged the remaining rebels to surrender and avail of the benefits being offered by the government. (PNA)