Camp Aquino, Tarlac City – As the influx of rebel surrenders in Northern Luzon continues to surge, Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) on Monday disclosed that 8 Halfway Houses for former rebels have just been completed and are now ready for operationalization.
The 8 halfway houses are in; Bantay, Ilocos Sur; Laoag City, Ilocos Norte; Burgos, Pangasinan; Lallo, Cagayan; Cabaruguis, Quirino; Lagangilang, Abra; Bontoc, Mt. Province; and Tabuk City, Kalinga. These halfway houses have a total capacity of 271 individuals. Each has complete amenities and furniture and is just waiting for electricity and water connection for it to be fully operationalized.
Northern Luzon Command Chief, Lieutenant General Arnulfo Marcelo B Burgos Jr. is glad of this development as he commended the local government units responsible for fast-tracking the completion of the halfway houses, saying that “The timely completion of the halfway houses is a welcome development in the government’s fight against the communist terrorists. I commend the local government units and partner agencies responsible for the speedy completion of the projects, as it manifest their strong desire and unwavering commitment to end local communist armed conflict in their respective locality.”
“The completion of these halfway houses exhibits the government’s sincerity to address the plight of our people who have been deceived by the communist terrorists to support their false cause”, he added.
The construction of the halfway house is part of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC). It aims to provide temporary shelter to former rebels and their families while processing their enrollment to ECLIP. The halfway house also serves as a venue for livelihood training and psycho-socio debriefing of the former rebels prior to their reintegration into mainstream society.
Lieutenant General Burgos also said that “True to its promise of hope and reconciliation, the government continues to deliver programs and projects that address the causes of grievances of our people. It is in this context, that the Defenders of North reiterate our call to the remnants of the communist terrorists, to lay down your arms and abandon the armed violence. Think of your family and your future. You deserved a much better life together with your family in a peaceful and progressive community.”
A total of 11 halfway houses are programmed to be constructed in Northern Luzon. The construction of the remaining 3 halfway houses is still ongoing.