The national government is urging local government units (LGUs) to establish a mechanism where people can air their grievances against the government through dialogues, which will dissuade them from joining the insurgency.
“There should be a mechanism with which regularly the LGUs at various levels should have dialogues particularly on grievances in the community against government and other things,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
“We need to understand all these grievances and give proper consideration, to let them know that there is good governance at the LGU level,” he added.
Dar is the head of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) tasked to address insurgency in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
The RTF-ELCAC also provides updates on relevant programs implemented and engages with the universities, colleges, and schools to prevent Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) from recruiting students.
He urged the Task Force members to encourage the active participation of LGUs, particularly in insurgency-infected barangays, in meaningful dialogues with the community members.
“We have to strengthen the role of the local governments as the main mechanism to handle all these grievances and encouragement for people to stay with the Republic, in general,” said Dar, also the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for CAR.
Cabinet members of the Duterte administration are each given their respective region to lead the RTF-ELCAC in line with the government effort for the whole-of-nation approach to put an end to local communist armed conflicts in the country.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.