Thursday, October 22, 2020

More Surrenders Expected as NHA Allocated Php1B for E-CLIP Housing Assistance to Former Rebels

BANCASI, Butuan City – The 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade is expecting more CTG surrenderers as the National Housing Authority (NHA) announced the allocation of one (1) billion pesos worth of fund for the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) housing assistance for Former rebels during the Task Force Balik-Loob Assessment and Update meeting held via VTC at Headquarters, 402nd Brigade, Brgy Bancasi, Butuan City on October 21, 2020.

The Task Force Balik-Loob led by its Mindanao Coordinator, Lt Col Ruel B Romorosa, conducted a follow-up visit and met with the Provincial E-CLIP Committee Members under the 402nd Brigade AOR covering the provinces of Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte in Caraga region and Misamis Oriental in Northern Mindanao.

Said visit aims to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of the E-CLIP in defeating the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG), collate best practices, update on E-CLIP accomplishments and obtain issues and concerns from the AFP units and E-CLIP Committee member agencies. 

Lt Col Ruel B Romorosa, the Task Force Balik Loob Coordinator for Mindanao said that the success of this E-CLIP lies with the utmost commitment of all stakeholders particularly the Provincial Governor as Chairman of the said committee.

He said, “The success and failure of the E-CLIP implementation is the responsibility of the provincial governor. E-CLIP committees must endeavor to operationalize the halfway houses and provide reports during the peace and order council meetings and other fora so that gaps, challenges, and issues on the implementation of E-CLIP will be easily conveyed and addressed.”

During the activity, E-CLIP committee member agencies presented updates on their interventions for FRs and raised concerns for the action of Task Force Balik Loob.

The NHA during its presentation announced the approval of housing assistance and released the check worth P450,000.00 to two (2) FRs from Caraga.

Likewise, the one (1) Billion pesos allocated for E-CLIP was approved by the NHA Board on July 25, 2018 as reported by the NHA Caraga E-CLIP Focal Person, Ms. Emma Katherine Nono, when pressed about the seemingly slow and delayed implementation of its housing assistance due to the strict requirements for the FRs to avail of said assistance. 

She said, “A Memorandum Circular No. 2019-041 was already proposed for its approval regarding the supplemental guidelines relaxing the requirements for FRs to avail the housing assistance."

"We recognize the necessity of the request of our partner agencies and the situation of our former rebels who have the difficulty in securing documents, thus, the NHA deemed it proper to relax the titled lot provision to avail the housing assistance worth PhP450,000.00 and PhP100,000.00, respectively, for those with lots and those needing repairs," Ms. Nono added.

The 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade has a total of 222 FRs already awarded with E-CLIP while 219 were not yet awarded and 83 are for E-CLIP enrolment.

Likewise, a total of 91 FRs have availed the NHA housing assistance: sixty-one (61) FRs have availed of Option A (Construction of a new house in a location chosen by FR) worth P450, 000.00; 29 FRs availed of Option C (Repair/Rehabilitation/improvement of existing house unit) worth P100, 000.00; and only one (1) FR availed the Option B (Existing NHA Housing projects that can be occupied by the FR).

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, Commander of the 402nd Brigade lauded the NHA for the positive response on the FR's situation regarding housing assistance under E-CLIP.

“We are elated of this great news and evidently all member agencies were glad that our FRs can avail the NHA housing assistance with the easing of the requirements to be complied and knowing that there is fund allocated for it. I have directed my Battalions to facilitate close coordination with NHA to fast track the lacking requirements for the housing benefit of the FRs and intensify the information campaign on the housing benefits that the FRs can avail," he said.

Source: Civil-Military Operations Office, 402nd Infantry Brigade, Joint Task Force Diamond, PA

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