The government, through the National Housing Authority (NHA), has awarded PHP450,000 worth of housing assistance to three former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who earlier laid down their arms and returned to the fold of the law.
In a press release sent to the media on Wednesday, Capt. Rigor Pamittan, chief of the 5th Infantry Division (5ID) Public Affairs Office, said the former rebels (FRs) received on Tuesday their housing assistance from the NHA-Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
He said that alias “Bryan” and alias “Alex” who are both from the province of Kalinga, and the mother of the late alias “Gabby” from Cagayan, received PHP450,000 each for the construction of their house.
Pamittan said the amount was computed based on the engineering and architectural design of the NHA where each house has two bedrooms, a living and dining room, kitchen, and a comfort room.
He, however, clarified that the design could be altered based on the desire of the beneficiary.
The housing assistance is among the several components of the government’s support program that aims to improve or change the lives of the FRs who have opted to reembrace the government and again pledge their allegiance in support of efforts to attain peace.
Livelihood, education, firearms remuneration and most of all, a better life with their families, are given by the government to the former rebels, Pamittan said.
He said the FRs, during the turnover ceremony at the 5ID headquarters in Gamu, Isabela, thanked the NHA and the 50th Infantry Battalion for allowing them to have a comfortable house for their family.
He also said the mother of the late alias “Gabby” emotionally thanked the agency and the 17th Infantry Battalion for giving them assistance and benefits even though her child had died.
“Nagpapasalamat talaga ako dahil hindi lang sa aking anak ang tulong ng gobyerno. Kahit wala na siya, hindi pa rin kami pinapabayaan ng kasundaluhan at ng mga ahensya ng ating pamahalaan. Yung benepisyo na para sa anak ko ay napapakinabangan namin. Kaya maraming salamat sa lahat ng tumutulong sa amin (Thank you because the government is not just helping my son. Even if he is already dead, the Armed Forces and the other agencies in government do not forget us. The supposed assistance for my son is also benefiting us. Thank you very much for all the help),” Pamittan quoted the mother as saying.
The housing assistance that the former rebels received is provided for under Administrative Order No. 10-2018 of President Rodrigo Duterte centralizing the government’s effort for the reintegration of former rebels.
Maj. Gen. Laurence Mina, 5ID commander, said the government will not falter in assisting the FRs and their family. “You have entrusted us your confidence when you returned to the folds of the law. It is our time to give what you deserve under the E-CLIP intended for you,” he said.
He encouraged the remaining members of the communist terrorist group to return to the fold of the law to experience positive changes in their lives through the assistance of the government under the whole-of-nation approach.
The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the NDF as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973.
Source: Philippines News Agency