Sat, 31 Oct 2020

NOTF ELCAC to establish halfway houses for rebel returnees

Philippine Information Agency
28 Sep 2020, 16:38 GMT+10

DUMAGUETE CITY, Sept. 28 (PIA) -- The Negros Oriental Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NOTF ELCAC) will soon set up a halfway house for rebel returnees.

This was disclosed by Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Provincial Director Johnjoan Mende, who is also the chairperson of the Enhanced Comprehensive Livelihood Integration Program (ECLIP) Cluster of NOTF ELCAC, during the NOTF ELCAC meeting on Sept. 17 at the Provincial Convention Center here.

The said establishment will be built inside the Philippine Army Headquarters in Camp Leon Kilat, Tanjay City.

The project is still in the initial planning and preparation stage.

"We are happy to report we have the support of the Sangguniang Panglalawigan to authorize the governor for the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement that a halfway house atong itukod sa Camp Leon Kilat. We are in the process of having the MOA signed. Na-signan na ni governor. Na-signan na ni Regional Director (Leocadio) Trovela. DND (Department of National Defense) na lang kulang. Katong mobalik naa na silay kapuy-an (We are happy to report we have the support of the Sangguniang Panglalawigan to authorize the governor to sign the Memorandum of Agreement for the construction of a halfway house in Camp Leon Kilat. We are in the process of having the MOA signed. Governor Roel Degamo signed it alreay. Regional Director Leocadio Trovela signed it also. We are still waiting for the DND to sign it. The rebels who would like to return to the folds of the law now have a proper place to stay)," Mende said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in partnership with the 302nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army, will hold a security forum with business owners in the province on Sept. 29, 2020.

DTI Provincial Director Nimfa Virtucio announced this during the recent task force meeting.

The activity aims to address concerns raised by some business owners claiming that rebel groups are allegedly collecting revolutionary taxes from them.

"We had two meetings under Legal Cluster as requested by BGen. (Noel) Baluyan. Naa siya concern on the growing number of letters soliciting for a revolutionary tax. Nag-design na mi ug program on how to go about informing (the public on this) or prevent this from happening (We had two meetings under the Legal Cluster as requested by BGEN. Noel Baluyan. He raised a concern regarding the growing number of letters soliciting for a revolutionary tax. We already crafted a program on how to inform the public on this or prevent this from happening)," Virtucio disclosed.

The task force lauded this move and expressed its commitment to help DTI in their activity.

Other topics that were discussed during the meeting include the inclusion of 10 new barangays under the list of ELCAC priority areas for government convergence efforts and the review and re-structuring of the 12 major clusters of NOTF ELCAC. (ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental)

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