News and UpdatesIn the NewsEx-rebels to get houses soon

Ex-rebels to get houses soon


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A socialized housing project for former rebels in Negros Oriental is ready to start this year with the approved acquisition and distribution of government land in the municipality of Basay.

The provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and its private partners conducted an onsite inspection in barangay Bongalonan, Basay on Tuesday to survey the area for the housing project.

Board Member Jessica Jane Villanueva, chair of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Committee on Peace and Order, said that with this development, the provincial government will try to start the project before the end of the year by completing all the necessary requirements.

Conferring with members of TF-ELCAC and Kawayan Collective, a bamboo social enterprise that has partnered to build the houses for FRs, Villanueva said an initial P60 million has been allocated by the provincial government in the previous years for the project.

“This is part of the Province’s contribution to the whole-of-nation approach to end the communist insurgency,” she said.

The proposed project site covers 13 hectares of government land in Bongalonan and is part of what used to be the CDCP Mining Corp., now a government-owned and – controlled corporation.

Manuel Galon, provincial Agrarian Reform officer, told the media the project will include a housing site of initially 100 units, a communal farm, and a community center.

Each beneficiary would have an estimated 150 square-meter lot with individual titles, he said.

Galon said his office received last August from the Department of Agrarian Reform central office a directive to proceed land distribution and acquisition for this specific project, prompting meetings to fast-track the project implementation.

“For the implementation of Executive Order 75, which is a tedious process, this is the last document that we would need to proceed with the acquisition and distribution of land to the former rebels,” he said.

EO 75 directs “all departments, bureaus, offices, and instrumentalities of the government to identify lands owned by the government devoted to or suitable for agriculture for distribution to qualified beneficiaries.”

Galon said they can now proceed with the documentation of the beneficiaries and the processing of requirements prior to the issuance of titles.

At least 58 FRs who have previously surrendered over the past years since 2018 in Negros Oriental have been profiled by the Armed Forces of the Philippines as beneficiaries of the housing project, said Lt. Col. Michael Aquino, commanding officer of the 11th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army based in Siaton town. (Judy F. Partlow/PNA)



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