National Security Adviser (NSA) Hermogenes Esperon Jr. on Wednesday said there is only one Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) guerilla front remaining in the Region 4B or the Mimaropa, thanks to the joint efforts of security and civilian agencies in the region.
Mimaropa covers Mindoro island, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan.
“Mostly due to the success of the security operations, I am proud to note that only one guerilla front of the CPP-NPA-NDF Terrorist Triad remains in the Mimaropa. From 2016 to 2021, the region has seen the surrender of 455 former rebels who are now being assisted by the government agencies in their transition into peaceful and productive lives,” Esperon said in a statement.
He said peace and security in Region 4-B composed of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan have been effectively managed through the joint efforts of security forces and civilian agencies in the region.
“Through the combined efforts of the Regional Development Council (RDC) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC), supported by numerous line agencies and regional offices of national government agencies, the region has had a thriving economic development,” Esperon said.
Esperon, who is also National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) vice chair, added that dismantling of guerilla fronts translates to the clearing of CPP-NPA-NDF influence and threat.
“Communities which were formerly under the guerilla fronts now constitute the first batch of the BDP (Barangay Development Program), wherein 109 projects worth P500,000,000 are being implemented in the region. For FY (fiscal year) 2022, a total of 54 barangays in the region shall be receiving the package of development projects worth P20 million per barangay as provided for in the 2022 General Appropriations Act and the Department of Budget Management Local Budget Circular 135 and 135-A,” Esperon said.
Through the BDP, these communities will be receiving five core programs worth P20 million per barangay which include farm-to-market roads, school buildings, water and sanitation systems, livelihood programs, and health stations.
He added that other national government agencies shall be providing additional programs to augment the BDP as necessary.
Esperon also said these development programs will ensure that communities are fully equipped with the basic essentials to attain a respectable and dignified standard of living.
Meanwhile, Esperon said President Rodrigo R. Duterte will be visiting Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro to oversee the initiatives the Mimorapa has taken as well as to meet local chief executives implementing the programs under the NTF-ELCAC.