HOUSING UNIT. Fritz, 28, an ex-New People's Army (NPA) rebel, shows the unit number of the house provided for free by the National Housing Authority in Davao Region (NHA-11) at Freedom Residences in Barangay Cuambogan Tagum City, Davao del Norte. He is among the rebel surrenderers who joined the raffle for the free houses on Wednesday (Sept. 14, 2022). (Photo courtesy of NHA-11)

DAVAO CITY – Ten former members of the New People's Army (NPA) received free houses at Freedom Residences in Tagum City, Davao del Norte from the National Housing Authority in Davao Region (NHA-11), an official said Thursday.

Clemente Dayot, NHA-11 regional manager, said the raffle was held Wednesday for the phase and lot number for the former rebels (FR) who are temporarily staying at the House of Unity in Asuncion Davao del Norte.

"This is the government's gift to the FRs. Our government is true to its word in helping them," Dayot said in an interview.

Dayot reminded the FRs to "take good care" of their houses in Barangay Cuambogan, and to avoid selling them.

He said 20 other ex-rebels are being assessed if they are qualified for free housing units.

Alias Fritz, 28, one of the beneficiaries, thanked the government for the housing units given to them and regretted his joining the communist group in the past.

"I am very happy about the free house provided by NHA-11. I hope the government will continue to programs like this," he said.

Fritz who had been in the NPA from 2011 to 2016, admitted that joining the movement was his personal choice but found out that only the commanders benefited from the money acquired through extortion.

According to NHA-11, the number of raffled housing units for former rebels reached 275, of which 246 have been awarded.

Of the 246 units, 91 former NPA rebels are now residing at the Freedom Residences, 49 only visit their units on occasions, while 106 remain unoccupied. (PNA)