'Peace Village' for ex-rebels to rise in Samar town | Inquirer News

‘Peace Village’ for ex-rebels to rise in Samar town

A housing project for former communist rebels who return to the government's fold will be constructed in Pinabacdao town, Samar within the year.

TACLOBAN CITY — A housing project for former communist rebels who return to the government’s fold will be constructed in Pinabacdao town, Samar within the year.

Emy Bonifacio, area coordinator of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP), hoped that the “Peace Village” would be completed as soon as possible so rebel returnees would have a home to live.


“The peace and prosperity villages are part of the transformation program of former rebels and their families,” she said in an interview on Monday, June 19.


Aside from Pinabacdao, similar facilities are also being constructed in San Jose de Buan and Hinabangan, both in Samar province.

The OPAPP provides technical assistance for the project, including the identification of potential beneficiaries.

The Peace Village, which sits on a three-hectare lot donated by the regional office of the Department of Agrarian Reform, was turned over to the provincial government of Samar in November 2021.

The National Housing Authority, in turn, was tasked to build the houses for the rebel surrenderees.

Each unit cost between P180,000 and P400,000, depending on the design.

The Peace Village, where 144 houses will rise, is in Catigawan, an upland village in Pinabacdao town.


The site is about three kilometers away from the national road.

While they welcome the project, Alma Gabin, a former rebel who was once the education deputy secretary of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee of the communist group, said beneficiaries have been disappointed since it has been a while since the project was conceptualized.

“They are already tired of waiting. They said that if not for their security, they would have left and found work in other places,” Gabin said on Monday.

She added: ”We hope that they will be provided with their own housing units and livelihood as well for them to live a normal life so they could also help transform communities still considered as conflict areas.”

Gabin said at least 600 former rebels, who may qualify for the housing program, are temporarily housed in various military camps in Samar.

In an earlier media interview, Samar’s provincial social welfare and development officer Alma Austero said many former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) had no plans of returning to their villages to avoid their former comrades.

The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA was listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

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54 NPA rebels in Samar surrender – Army – Inquirer.net

TAGS: CCP-NPA, ex-rebels, peace, Samar

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