Ex-rebels to get halfway house in Sarangani

NPA rebels in Maguindanao surrendering to troops. (Hukbo.com image)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — The provincial government of Sarangani has authorized Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon to sign the deed of absolute sale of a property in Barangay Poblacion in Alabel town to be used in building a halfway house for returning New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.

The provincial board issued the go-signal to purchase the P1.5 million property during its regular session on Tuesday, Lizette Lopez, provincial focal person of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (Clip), said on Wednesday.

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), Lopez said.

“The plans are already in place and we’re now ready for the development of the facility,” Lopez said in a statement, according to PNA.

The halfway house will have three rooms for males, three rooms for females, a conjugal room, an office, kitchen and a conference room. It 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,” Lopez said.

Former rebels who will shelter in the halfway house will undergo healing sessions and psychosocial interventions to prepare them for integration into mainstream society. They would also undergo skills trainings.

The DILG had allotted grants of P5 million to local government units that want to establish a halfway home for returning rebels. The halfway home or house will also serve as a temporary residence for the processing of 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.

p: wjg