(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Thursday, 26 May 2022) Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting the southern section of Mindanao. The entire Caraga region will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms caused by Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).



Wednesday, April 13, 2022

N/RTF-ELCAC highlights significant accomplishments in Caraga during PRRD’s visit in Butuan

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY -- In time with the visit of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday, April 12, the Regional Task Force to End Local Communists Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) composed of various government agencies also took the chance to report the significant accomplishments of the task force in the implementation of Executive Order No. 70 or the whole-of-nation approach to end the insurgency in Caraga Region.

Regional Director Harold Nacional of National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) Caraga recalled that when President Duterte took office in 2016, he was faced with a host of national security concerns that challenged his administration’s resolve to protect and serve the people. 

“Illegal drugs, criminality, corruption, terrorism and the 53-year Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) or communist-terrorist group (CTG) scourge, are just some of the issues that had to be overcome to realize the President’s dream for a prosperous and secured life for our people. But, the President knew that in order for him to be able to give Filipinos a comfortable life and guarantee their well-being, he needed to eliminate these obstacles. As he said during his first State of the Nation (SONA) address in 2016, there can never be real, tangible and felt development without making our people feel secure,” said Nacional, as he recounted how PRRD started to address the pressing issues and concerns in the country.

Secretary Hermogenes Esperon, vice chairperson of NTF-ELCAC and National Security Adviser, also bared that the 2021 intelligence reports have indicated that roughly 83% of rebel returnees were recruited by the CTG from the ranks of the indigenous peoples (IP) sector.  “The Caraga Region has been home to numerous IP communities and as such, has been the focus of the CTG propaganda and disinformation. Due to the geographical and social limitations of the IP communities, they are considered as priorities of the government’s intervention and development initiatives,” he said.

Esperon further revealed that at the start of the Duterte administration in 2016, there were a total of 11 guerilla fronts in Caraga Region. Since then, three of these GFs were completely dismantled while two were significantly weakened. “The remaining six GFs are in the process of being cleared by our security forces. In fact, in less than three years, the combined Armed Forces of the Philippines/ Philippine National Police efforts have neutralized 978 NPA regulars and seized 290 firearms. I wish to highlight the neutralization of 37 high-ranking officials of CTG in the region,” he said.

Another significant accomplishment of the RTF-ELCAC Caraga was the closure of the Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) and Tribal Filipino Program in Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) in 2020. These schools were found to be illegally operating with the purpose of indoctrinating and radicalizing the youth/IP sectors for their eventual recruitment as armed combatants of the CTG.

Also, on the status of Barangay Development Program in Caraga region for 2021, 191 barangays were covered in the flagship program with a total of 359 infrastructure and non-infrastructure priority projects. For 2022, another 94 barangays were added as recipients of BDP in the region. In particular, the BDP beneficiaries for 2022 include three in Butuan City, eight in Agusan del Norte, 45 in Agusan del Sur, 20 in Surigao del Norte, and 18 in Surigao del Sur.

Meanwhile, during the presidency of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, a total of 12 Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADTs) were formally approved and recognized by the NCIP Commission en Banc (CEB), the most recent of which are six CADTs during the leadership of chairperson, Secretary Allen Capuyan, which were awarded to the ICCs/IPs of Caraga. 

These six CADTs are the following: 1) CADT R-13-SLU-1220-250 of the Banwaon ICCs/IPs of San Luis, Agusan del Sur comprising a total land area of 38,005.4755 hectares which was approved last December 3, 2020; 2) CADT R-13-BUE-0121-252 of the Higaonon ICCs/IPs of Las Nieves, Buenavista, Nasipit, and Carmen, Agusan del Norte, portions of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, and Magsaysay, Misamis Oriental comprising a total land area of 44,288.26 hectares which was approved last January 15, 2021; 3) CADT R-13-JAB-0221-253 of the Mamanwa ICCs/IPs of Jabonga, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte and portion of Mainit, Surigao del Norte comprising an ancestral land area of 4,364.9027 hectares with ancestral water of 9,891.506 hectares which was approved last February 24, 2021; 4) CADT R-13-MAL-0521-254 of the Mamanwa ICCs/IPs of Malimono, San Francisco, Sison, and Surigao City, all in the Province of Surigao del Norte comprising a total land area of 8,623.88 hectares which was approved last May 20, 2021; 5) CADT R-13-ESP-1021-255 of the Higaonon and Banwaon ICCs/IPs of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur comprising a total land area of 103,484.19 hectares which was approved last October 28, 2021; and 6) CADT R-13-REM-1121-256 of the Mamanwa ICCs/IPs of RTR, Cabadbaran City, and Butuan City, all in the Province of Agusan del Norte comprising a total land area of 4,876.91 hectares which was approved last November 4, 2021. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)