Provinces Complement Efforts to Tackle Insurgency

On Thursday, November 9, 2017, the members Compostela Valley Province’s CLIP Committee, headed by Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy, have visited Davao Oriental to benchmark the province’s halfway house for former rebels called Happy Home.

DAVAO ORIENTAL – The neighboring Province of Compostela Valley is harmonizing its peace and development programs with that of the Province of Davao Oriental as it recently benchmarked the innovative programs on peace and development being implemented here.

The two provinces, who share common borders and have the same challenges when it comes to insurgency, have agreed that in order to finally put an end to the long-running insurgency problem in this side of the region, both territories must synchronize their efforts and share possible solutions.

Compostela Valley Province Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy, in his message, expresses his interest to replicate Davao Oriental’s Happy Home for former rebels during a benchmarking activity on Nov. 9.  In the photo with the governor are: (Left) Davao Oriental Provincial Administrator Art Benjie Bulaong and (Right) Compostela Valley DILG Provincial Director Noel Duarte.

Compostela Valley Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy, during his recent visit here, said his province intends to replicate Davao Oriental’s best practices on peace and development, particularly the implementation and the operation of its halfway-house for former rebels called Happy Home.

Implemented under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP), the Happy Home has been enticing many Communist New People’s Army rebels here to surrender to the folds of the law because of its attractive rehabilitation program which involves provision of comprehensive enabling services and assistance for their total healing and rehabilitation as they reintegrate into the mainstream society.

Philippine Army’s 701st Brigade Deputy Commander Col. Rodolfo Lavadia tours Col. Erwin Bernard L. Neri, Commander of the 1001st Brigade, at the Happy Home compound.

As a result, the Happy Home has been touted as one the country’s model strategies in countering insurgency through non-violent means.

While Davao Oriental has already seen exceptional results from all its efforts that bolstered its peace and security, Compostela Valley is now being galvanized to adopt similar measures to prevent enemy forces being driven away from here in crossing over to their borders. “If these programs have worked in Davao Oriental then it should work in Compostela Valley,” said Gov. Uy who led his team consisting of the members of Compostela Valley’s CLIP committee.

Members of the CLIP Committee of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley pose in front of the Happy Home.

Col. Erwin Bernard L. Neri, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 1001st Brigade based in Maco, Compostela Valley, said that by replicating Davao Oriental’s anti-insurgency programs, especially the establishment of the Happy Home, both territories will be able to strengthen their campaign on peace and development.

He also stressed the importance of providing former rebels a more encouraging and conducive environment for their complete rehabilitation before they go back to the community. “Many rebels have already expressed their interest to surrender. So it is crucial to provide a facility where we would be able to house them,” he said.

A military officer shows to the visitors some agricultural products produced by former rebels at the Happy Home which is part of their entrepreneurship training.

He added that they also intend to replicate the latest innovations being introduced by the Philippine Army’s 701st Brigade inside the Happy Home which ranges from the short-course de-radicalization program and farming and livestock production program, which will equip former rebels with new knowledge that they can apply as they go back to their community.

The first of its kind in the whole country, the Happy Home is a brainchild of Former Governor, now First District Representative Corazon N. Malanyaon and is now being sustained by the present leadership of Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang.

Only stones-throw away from a military camp, the Happy Home is surrounded by a wide expanse of greeneries consisting of a cacao nursery and vegetable garden where former rebels’ farming skills are honed.

Banking on the collaboration of various agencies as the hallmark of its success, the Happy Home offers holistic interventions such as health services, psychological and psychiatric services, spiritual enrichment, sports development, and team-building workshops, among others.

It also offers long-term interventions, such as the Alternative Learning System (ALS) that address low literacy rate among former rebels and Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Seminar before they become recipients to the CLIP’s Livelihood and Immediate Assistance amounting to P65,000.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, Compostela Valley Province has also benchmarked Davao Oriental’s new peace and development program called Nagkakaisang Lingkod-Bayan ng Davao Oriental Barangay Outreach Caravan which brings government services and development programs directly down to the grassroots level.

Governor Uy said implementing this broad range of measures is a testament to the government’s efforts in reaching out to the people as this is also the thrust of the national government.

With Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley working together in their peace efforts, leaders of both provinces are confident that all these initiatives will be able to sow the seeds of peace and weave resilience in the communities. By Karen Lou Deloso

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