By Mike Crismundo
CAMP BANCASI, Butuan City – A P5-million rehabilitation center, or Halfway House (HWH), for former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) is set to rise in Magbuliga Development Complex, Barangay Poblacion, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon province.
The HWH is intended to house former NPAs who have returned to the fold of law. It is where they will undergo psychological and psychosocial counseling, livelihood training and capacity building in preparation for their reintegration into the mainstream society.
The construction of the center will take seven months, and will cater to former rebels from around the province.
Capt. Rene M. Belmonte, Jr., Civil Military Operations (CMO) officer of the Army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade, told The Manila Bulletin on Wednesday that the HWH was conceptualized at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Magbuliga Development Complex last week.
The ceremonial awarding of Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) benefits was undertaken during the event for seven former rebels, who received a total of P365,000.00 in livelihood assistance, firearms remuneration and immediate assistance, Belmonte said.
The activity was attended by Col. Ferdinand T. Barandon, 403rd Brigade commander; Bukidnon Department of Interior and
Local Government (DILG ) Provincial Director, Engr Carmelo Enrique B. Libot, who represented Bukidnon Gov. Jose Ma Zubiri; Impasug-ong town Mayor Anthony A. Uy, Lt. Col. Edgardo Talaroc, Jr., commander of Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion (8th IB); P/Capt. Murallon of Impasug-ong Municipal Police Station and officials and employees of Impasug-ong LGU.
The Impasug-ong municipal government donated the one-hectare land where the HWH will rise, which will also feature an agricultural farm that will be developed in partnership with Department of Agriculture and 403rd Brigade.