BAYUGAN CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office Caraga took part in the ground breaking ceremony of the Home Defense Village (HDV) Project at Sitio Amongon, Barangay Noli, Bayugan City on June 30, 2020, which was headed by the Police Regional Office XIII, in coordination with other National Government Agencies (NGA) who are part of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC), and the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Bayugan, Agusan del Sur.
The Home Defense Village Project is one of the banner programs and initiatives of the Philippine Government to end local communist armed conflict in the country. The 8.98 hectare HDV will serve as the new home or community to former rebels (FRs) and allow them to do different activities that can help improve their living condition and provide livelihood opportunities for their families such as farming and livestock raising.
Other than the FRs, police and military men will also be residing in the community to ensure the security of the beneficiaries and their families. In addition, teachers, nurses, and midwives will regularly visit the residents to hold classes for the children of the FRs and check their health conditions.
In the development of the HDV, different line government agencies will collaborate and work together to build the house of each of the families. Each house will have its own bathroom, electricity line, and water source. A Tribal Hall will also be constructed which will serve as a venue for gatherings and activities. On top of that, a school and health center will also be created.
Through this project, the FRs are given an opportunity to start over again and explore new opportunities. This will serve as an avenue for them to rebuild their lives together with their respective families.
In light of this project, the Field Office through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) will also be providing financial assistance to the FRs and families which they can utilize as seed capital fund for their chosen micro-enterprise project or as allowance in looking for employment opportunities and in processing their pre-employment requirements.
DSWD FO Caraga, through the SLP will work constantly with the other NGAs and the community to further the reintegration process for the former rebels.
During the ceremony, DSWD Agusan Sur Provincial Social Welfare and Development Team Leader Sara Rose Salingay was present on behalf of the Field Office, together with the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) Project Development Officers.