Thursday, July 12, 2018

Sarangani allots P1.5-M for halfway house of ex-rebels

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 12): Sarangani allots P1.5-M for halfway house of ex-rebels

The provincial government of Sarangani has allotted an initial P1.5 million for the establishment of a halfway house for returning New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.

Lizette Lopez, provincial focal person of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (Clip), said Wednesday the funds will be utilized for the acquisition of the project's site in Barangay Poblacion, Alabel town.

She said the provincial board issued the go-signal during its regular session on Tuesday authorizing Sarangani Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon to sign the deed of absolute sale and finalize the acquisition of the site, which already has an existing residential building.

Lopez said the property serves as the local government's counterpart for the project, which will be constructed through a P5 million grant from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

"The plans are already in place and we're now ready for the development of the facility," she said in a statement.

Based on the approved development plan, Lopez said the halfway house will have three rooms for males, three rooms for females, a conjugal room, an office, kitchen and a conference room.

Once operational, she said the facility will serve as temporary home for rebel returnees in the province for 15 days to one month.

"It will accommodate at least 15 individuals per cycle," she said. 

While hosted at the halfway house, Lopez said the former rebels will undergo healing sessions and psychosocial interventions to prepare them for integration into the mainstream society.

She said they would also undergo skills trainings to complement with the livelihood component of the Clip.  

The DILG had allotted grants of PHP5 million to local government units, including the province, that have signified to establish a halfway home for returning rebels as a component of the Clip.

A halfway home or house is a temporary residence that serves as the processing center for former rebels.

The facility could also be used to cater to other individuals in crisis situations, such as victims of violence against women and children, juvenile delinquents, former convicts and times of disaster.

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