Agencies that belong to the Regional Development Council (RDC) and Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) are coming up with strategies to help put an end to the local communist armed conflict affecting certain areas in Central Visayas.
Representatives of these agencies gathered last 18 July 2018 for a day-long workshop to institutionalize the Regional Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) Whole-of-Nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace. It was also aimed at letting the agencies map out specific programs and activities covering 12 different clusters, namely:
- Situational Awareness and Knowledge Management
- Local Government Empowerment
- Legal Cooperation
- Strategic Communication
- Sectoral Unification, Capacity-bldg and Empowerment
- Basic Services
- Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment
- Infrastructure, Resource Mgt and Employment
- Localized Peace Engagement
- Peace, Law Enforcement and Development Support
- E-CLIP and Amnesty Program
- International Engagement
In his welcome remarks, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino, whose office co-organized the activity with the RDC and RPOC, said that a whole-of-nation approach is important, especially since one key to end such conflict is not just to neutralize the groups involved but to make people in affected communities feel that they can count on the government to provide them with accessible and reliable basic services. He mentioned several programs and projects that have been launched to provide these services, such as the Malasakit Center.
“This just shows that this administration is really determined to lift our people out of poverty. Truly, it is the Filipino people that is in the heart of the Duterte government and the main goal of this administration is to provide a comfortable life for all,” Dino said.
He added that with the combined efforts of the agencies in identifying the needs of the 15 influenced barangays in the region, he is optimistic that Central Visayas will be insurgency-free by 2021 and will then experience sustainable peace and economic upsurge as a result.
During the workshop, the agencies were grouped according to their respective clusters to identify their respective programs and projects, timelines and budgets.
NRO 7 Regional Director Efren Carreon said that after the workshop, the outputs will be consolidated and presented during the next joint RDC-RPOC meeting.
The outputs will be cascaded to the respective local government units where the priority ELCAC municipalities and to the concerned government agencies for implementation. A regular reporting on the status of the outputs of these clusters will be jointly monitored by the RDC and RPOC.