(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Saturday, 27 November 2021) Shear Line affecting the eastern sections of Northern and Central Luzon. Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting Palawan and Zamboanga Peninsula. Easterlies / Localized Thunderstorm affecting the rest of Mindanao. Caraga Region will have Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to Easterlies / Localized Thunderstorm. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with Slight to Moderate coastal waters / (0.6 to 2.1 meters). /span>



Wednesday, July 21, 2021

ELCAC infra projects pave way to end insurgency in AgSur, SurSur areas

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -– The infrastructure projects of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) under the Local Government Support Fund – Support to Barangay Development Program (LGSF-SBDP) will pave the way in ending insurgency in Caraga region particularly in Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur areas.

Various stakeholders including the local populace were present during the Caraga’s RTF-ELCAC groundbreaking ceremonies of the two road projects in Barangay Villa Ondayon, Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur; and Sitio Simowao (KM9), Barangay Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur on July 15 and 16, respectively.


A kilometer of local access road from Purok 4 to Sitio Ibo-ibo, Brgy Villa Ondayon in Bayugan City, ADS will be upgraded while a 1.2 kilometer Farm-to-Market Road from Sitio Simowao (KM9) to Purok 7 of Brgy Diatagon in the Municipality of Lianga, SDS will be constructed. Each project will be worth 20M pesos.


Punong Barangay Hon. Mercidita Maluenda of Villa Ondayon and Hon. Renegio Pareja of Diatagon, thanked their respective provincial government, ELCAC Officials, 65th Infantry Battalion and 3rd Special Forces Battalion under the 401st Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army for recommending the projects in their barangays that were once influenced by the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG).


Said barangay officials claimed that together with their constituents, they were restrained by the CTG to give their consent and approval for any government projects out of fear. With the Army’s persistence to drive away from the CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNT), the road projects they longed for will be finally realized and relief overwhelmed them as it will greatly benefit their communities as their farm products will now be easily transported.


Director Lilibeth Famacion, the chairperson of RTF-ELCAC Technical Working Group and Regional Director of DILG Caraga, disclosed that 191 recipient barangays with 357 priority projects that were cleared from CTG influence in Caraga region are provided with P20M each for a total of P3.82 Billion allocated as fund support to the various infrastructure projects and social services. “Bayugan City has nine recipient barangays out of the 45 recipient barangays in Agusan del Sur with 78 total priority projects worth P900 million while in Surigao del Sur, there are 46 recipient barangays with 60 priority infrastructure projects worth P900 million as part of sustaining the initiative towards peace and development in the barangays,” she added.

Meanwhile, Surigao del Sur Governor Alexander Pimentel and Agusan del Sur Governor Santiago Cane, Jr., are one in saying that the BDP under the NTF ELCAC budget will address the commonly exploited issues utilized by the CTG to recruit the local populace. They said that the local government units, national and local government agencies and other stakeholders must be committed and must intensify its support on this endeavor to sustain the program.


Also, Brigadier General Allan Hambala, 401st Infantry Brigade Commander, revealed that barangays Villa Ondayon and Diatagon are former strongholds of the CTG wherein influence of their Sectoral Front Organizations are extensive. “We were able to make the people understand that the Army together with other partner agencies are in their communities to promote their welfare and help them improve their lives. We believe that the bottom line of this problem is governance. Who will govern best could win the support of the people. Hence, the continuous progress of the communities brought by the implementation of ELCAC projects will naturally prevent the people from joining the CTG,” he disclosed. 


In his statement, Major General Romeo Brawner, Jr., Commander of the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division, also bared that the whole Diamond troopers will continue to support the RTF ELCAC in order to improve the well-being of the people and protect them from the CNTs. 


“We thank our partner agencies in Caraga region for their active involvement in ending the communist armed conflict in this part of the country. We shall continue to clear remaining barangays from CTG influence thru our CSP so that the peace and development projects under the RTF ELCAC’s LGSF-SBDP program will be delivered to the conflict affected areas and geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas to pave the way in ending insurgency,” said Brawner.


Brawner further revealed that the Whole-of-Nation Approach (WNA) is working in Northern Mindanao and Caraga region. The WNA, he said, is not just about burden sharing, it’s about understanding that peace and order is a shared responsibility.


The Barangay Development Program is the government’s priority program to usher development and deliver basic services in conflict-affected barangays that lagged due to the terror caused by the CNTs. (Major Francisco Garello, Jr., DPAO, 4ID, PA/PIA-Agusan del Sur)