Sat. Sep 25th, 2021

The Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) also known as Task Force Katuninongan asin Kauswagan expressed its gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte for recognizing the significant contributions of the security sector in the administration’s all-out war against communist insurgency.

It stressed that the progress made by the Whole-of-Nation Approach (WONA) is the fruit of every Filipino’s desire, persistence, and genuine commitment to propel the country towards lasting peace and sustainable human and economic development.

In Bicol alone, various development projects beneficial to the local populace, especially in conflict-affected areas were rolled out under RTF-ELCAC.

Last June 24, a groundbreaking ceremony was conducted for the local access roads in Barangay San Pascual and Sta. Cruz in Casiguran, Sorsogon.

The first halfway house for former rebels was built in Masbate province. This was followed by two more halfway houses, one in Camarines Norte and one in Sorsogon.

RTF-ELCAC’s programs including the regionwide Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) and the Army’s Community Support Program (CSP) also reduced CTG’s influence in communities evident in the continuous massive surrender of the terrorist group’s members and supporters.

For the past one year, at least a thousand of them returned to the folds of the law, biggest of which were the 505 surrenderers from June 18-28 in Masbate. A considerable number of firearms were also turned in to the government.

Indignation rallies to denounce communist terrorism were staged by the communities clamoring for a more peaceful Bicol while the number of barangays and municipalities declaring the CTG as persona non-grata.

Meanwhile, Joint Task Force (JTF) Bicolandia under MajGen Henry Robinson PA, well as the Police Regional Office 5 (PRO-5) headed by PBGen Jonnel Estomo have intensified their joint operations that crippled the CTG by dismantling four of its priority guerilla fronts.

From July 2020 to date, government troops were able to initiate a total of 51 engagements resulting in the killing of 38 communist NPA terrorists (CNTs), capture of 15 others, arrest of 33 more and seizure of 82 high-powered firearms and 102 low-powered firearms.

RTF-ELCAC which is headed by Usec. Marvel Clavecilla, Adviser for Bicol Affairs, is very grateful that the Administration appreciates its persistent effort and campaign to end communist insurgency.

It also underscores that all the triumphs attained by the Task Force are results of collaborative efforts to uplift the living condition of the Bicolanos by efficiently delivering basic goods and services, promote good governance and consistently raise the standards of peace, security and stability in Bicol.

JTF Bicolandia, on the other hand, assures the Bicolanos of its relentless pursuit of peace and progress for the region’s future generation.

No less than President Duterte mentioned the efforts of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in building safe and conflict-resilient communities by investing on farm-to-market roads, school buildings, water and sanitation, health stations, and livelihood.

This year alone P16.24 billion has been released directly under the Barangay Development Program to more than 800 ‘NPA-free’ barangays around the Philippines, broken down as follows: P11.611 billion for farm-to-market road projects; P2.386 billion for water and sanitation systems; P569 million for school buildings; P491 million for health stations; P482 million for rural electrification; P328 million for agricultural, livelihood, and technical vocational projects; P125.8 million for other infrastructure projects; P110 million cost of assistance to indigent individuals and families; P87 million for cost of reconstruction, rehabilitation, repair, and other similar projects; P22.4 million for housing and P22.5 million Covid-19-related projects. SOVEREIGNPH/AQP

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