Duterte leads turnover of NHA houses to former rebels

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TAGUM CITY (JULY 17) —– President Rodrigo Duterte personally handed the documents symbolozing the awarding of housing units produced by the National Housing Authority (NHA) to former communist rebels here on Tuesday night.

As of yesterday, 71 former rebels were given certificates of award while 34 former rebels are still processing to complete their training, afterwhich, they will be given their slots at the Freedom Residences in Barangay Cuambugan.

In his speech during the turn-over, Duterte said he is aware of the problem of insurgency often stems from the inability of government services to effectively and efficiently reach our people.

This is the reason why his administration is working to prioritize the enactment of policies and programs that will greatly improve the lives of our people and even those who have turned away from government.

“I am glad to be here today to welcome former rebels as they commence their reintegration into society. Through the awarding of the housing units at Freedom Residences, and the [demilitarization] of turned-in firearms under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP,” Duterte said.

He assured the former rebels that a new life begins having their own houses, as the government addresses their economic concerns.

The rebels were given financial assistance and technical education to start a new life with the kind of work they wanted to undertake, given the skills which they learned from Technical Educational and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

“We are also ensuring that they will live in decent and comfortable houses through a resettlement program under the National Housing Authority. The community that they will be a part of is near a public market,” he stressed.

NHA general manager Marcelino Escalada briefs President Rodrigo Duterte about the housing programs being undertaken by the agency. Men in while watching the screen are former rebels awaiting for the turn over of their certificates of awards to start a new life in their own homes at Freedom Residents in Barangay Cuambugan, Tagum City,-NewsLine.ph

He asked NHA general manager Marcelino Escalada to help him to establish a school, a health center and police station near the area, so that former rebels and their children will have no reason not to go to school.

Escalada informed the President that the FR Village is equipped with a trade center which will showcase their produce and a commercial center where they can do business.

Duterte is hoping that the project will encourage the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, the Task Force Balik-Loob, and their local counterparts to work doubly hard in addressing the problems of insurgency so that people can enjoy safer and secured communities.

He also asked the former rebels to invite their former comrades “I also enjoin the former rebels, kamo ba, who are here with us today to maximize the opportunity to return into the mainstream of society by being responsible, productive, peaceful and law-abiding citizens.”

Duterte said government resources that have been spent in the 53-year-old war with the NPA have already amounted to billions of pesos.

The President reiterated that the problem of insurgency often stems from the inability of the government to provide basic services for the people, especially in far-flung areas.

“I am glad to welcome these former rebels as they commence their reintegration to the society,” Duterte said.

Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon for his part, welcomed the former rebels as new residents of his city, “I welcome you to our city, here you can peacefully live and we can work together to develop our city.”

Cristino, 27, a former rebel said he is happy to raise his family in a house given by government for free.-ezc/NewsLine.ph

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