(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 24 April 2024) Easterlies affecting the country. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies/Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to moderate winds coming from East to Southeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Monday, 18 March 2024

Agusan Norte establishes village for former rebels

By Nora Lanuza Molde

BUTUAN CITY (PIA) – The provincial government of Agusan del Norte has established a village and initially awarded housing units to 17 former rebels (FRs) and their families.

The New Hope Village is a community created by the provincial government and other stakeholders for the FRs as part of their reintegration into mainstream society.

“The New Hope village is proof that the government is sincere in ending insurgency in the province. We are committed to eradicate the CTGs because we value the lives of not only the Agusanons but all Filipinos,” said Gov. Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante.

The New Hope Village in Cabadbaran City has 17 fully furnished housing units for the former rebels and their families. Another 34 units will be built and awarded to another batch of FRs in Agusan del Norte. Photo: PIA-Agusan del Norte.

The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga interviewed Jay-r, a former member of the New People’s Army for four years who surrendered to the 29th Infantry Battalion (29IB), Philippine Army in August 2018, and is one of the recipients of a housing unit of the village as his new home, together with his family.

He was also chosen to join and be part of the government force, saying, “I am forever grateful to the government, to Gov. Angel Amante, to Mayor Judy Amante, and to Lt. Col. Gargar for giving me and my family the chance to live in this village. They never abandoned us and provided us with means to meet our daily needs, especially my work in the government forces.”

Tisa, a former NPA for 15 years, is now happy with her family, as she currently operates her own sari-sari store in the village. She is determined to protect her family, especially her children, by always choosing the path of peace and not violence

“I see to it that my children will be given the right education and will not be deceived by the NPAs, just like what happened to us,” she said.

Jay-r and Tisa, together with the other families living in the village, also received other interventions from the government, like livelihood training from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Agriculture (DA), and other agencies.

Aside from the housing units in the New Hope Village, the former rebels in Agusan del Norte were able to establish livelihood projects with the help of the government. Some are into animal, poultry and vegetable farming. Photo:PIA-Agusan del Norte.

“We always see to it that they have a livelihood to address their needs; they send their children to school and perform their daily tasks,” said 29IB Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. Cresencio C. Gargar, during his interview with the Philippine Information Agency inAgusan del Norte. 

Gargar relayed that the provincial government of Agusan del Norte and the city government of Cabadbaran provided rice allowances to the FRs living in the village and at the headquarters of the 29IB.

“In addition to the support provided to them, we also motivate them to be productive, such as through the monthly conduct  of the Best Improved Garden contest, which is participated in by all of the FRs, and the winner will receive a sack of rice,” Gargar added.

Aside from gardening, the Provincial Agriculture Office also helped them put up a livelihood project on piggery and egg layering.

With the guidance of government troops, the FRs now have a registered cooperative, and they are now earning.

Gargar further announced that the New Hope Village also received support from other partners, such as Cabadbaran City led by Mayor Judy Chin Amante, to build the perimeter fence of the village.

“With the support of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU), another 34 units will be constructed in the village this year, in addition to the 17 existing housing units built with the help of the National Housing Authority,” Gargar shared.  (NCLM/PIA-Agusan del Norte)