DAR identifies housing site for former rebels in NegOr town

OCULAR INSPECTION. Members of the provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in Negros Oriental province inspect the proposed site in Basay town for a housing project for former rebels, on Thursday (Jan. 26, 2023). The project has a PHP20 million budget for this year with an initial 30 units to be built. (Photo by Judy Flores Partlow)

DUMAGUETE CITY – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has identified government land in Basay town, Negros Oriental province as the proposed site for a socialized housing project for former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

The 23-hectare property is situated at Sitio Cotcot, Barangay Bongalonan in Basay, the farthest municipality in south Negros Oriental.

Manuel Galon Jr., Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARPO) 1, told the Philippine News Agency on Friday that the proposed project site is up for distribution, based on Executive Order No. 75.

“EO 75 mandates that the DAR and other government agencies will identify government lands that are no longer in use for their original purpose which can be distributed to qualified beneficiaries,” Galon said.

On Thursday, members of the Negros Oriental Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC) and Kawayan Collective, a private business firm that has partnered with the government, held an ocular inspection of the site.

Kawayan Collective was tasked to build the housing units using the cement-bamboo-frame technology, said Aidalyn Arabe, housing coordinator for the firm.

“The technology is disaster-resilient, specifically designed against typhoons and earthquakes,” she said.

Board Member Jessica Jane Villanueva, who heads the Sangguniang Panlalawigan committee on peace and order, said the housing project, which is expected to be completed in three years, has a PHP60 million funding allocation.

For this year, an initial PHP20-million budget will be allotted to cover the construction of at least 30 housing units, Villanueva said.

About 50 former rebels who surrendered during the past years have been identified to qualify for the housing project.

The board member is hopeful that once all papers and other documentary requirements have been completed, the provincial government can start the construction.

Galon said beneficiaries will be issued individual titles of ownership for the house and lot under this social integration program. (PNA)

Source: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1193751