In Samar

TACLOBAN CITY– After much of waiting, former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who earlier surrendered to the government will soon have a house of their own.

Next month, a groundbreaking for the construction of houses for reformed rebels will be held in San Jose de Buan, Samar, Emilda Bonifacio, Samar area manager of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU), said.

Initially, 17 former rebels have been identified to occupy the housing village, she added. All are from San Jose de Buan and have a family of their own and does not own a house of their own.

The OPAPRU did an orientation to the former rebels who were made to understand the basic concepts of peace and conflict and a deeper appreciation of the conflict-sensitive and peace-promotion (CSPP) approach for contextualization purposes and in ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of its project implementation.

The housing project cost P4 million of which P2.5 million was donated by the provincial government of Samar through Governor Sharee Ann Tan while the remaining P1.5 million will come from the local government under Mayor Joaquin Elizalde.

Personnel from the 546Engineer Construction Battalion (ECB) and 543ECB did the site development and house design.

Partner agencies of the project like the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (Tesda) helped in training the former rebels in carpentry which is necessary for constructing the house that will be built thru bayanihan while the Department of Science and Technology will do the social preparation for the upcoming implementation of Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST) activities for the former rebels.