Sat. Jan 29th, 2022

The province of Davao Oriental is getting closer to its goal of being declared insurgency-free, officials declared Friday following recent breakthroughs in peace and security.

In a statement, Governor Nelson Dayanghirang said he was pleased to see that the provincial government was finally beginning to reap the rewards of its efforts and sacrifices in the fight against the communist insurgency.

“It has been a long time that we had suffered from the horrors of the armed conflict, but today we are happy that we are now nearing our goal of achieving genuine peace in the province,” he said.

Meanwhile, Col. Oliver Maguiling, Army’s 701st Brigade commander, said military efforts on “quick impact programs” also helped the province to attain peace and development, particularly in the former communist-influenced areas in the hinterlands.

Among the programs that the Army participated in was the provincial government’s “Serbisyo” mobile program, more popularly known as Nagkakakisang Lingkod-Bayan ng Davao Oriental Barangay Outreach Caravan (NLD-BOC).

Putting a premium on social services, the program reaches out to the most far-flung villages to deliver government services.

With the support of various national funding agencies, the provincial government is currently spearheading the construction of more roads, water systems, school buildings, and other vital infrastructure facilities in the communities.

Moreover, with the downpour of funds from the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), more critical infrastructure projects are now being implemented.

This year, the province received an allocation of P640 million from the NTF-ELCAC intended for the Barangay Development Program (BDP) of which P20 million was earmarked for each of the 32 barangays that were cleared from the communist insurgency.

A hallmark program of NTF-ELCAC with the end goal of bringing development to former conflict-prone communities, the BDP forms part of the government’s whole-of-nation approach in fighting the rebellion waged by the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) in the countryside.

The program aims to eradicate the root causes of the insurgency, poverty, disease, lack of education and opportunities, and social injustice in far-flung communities across the country identified to have been influenced by the communist ideology.

The BDP is directed to initially rehabilitate and develop 822 barangays formerly established as guerilla fronts of the CPP-NPA-NDF in several parts of the countryside.

“With the overloading of projects, these communities could no longer find a reason to complain because the government is there delivering programs and services even to the most far-flung communities,” Dayanghirang said.

Amid all these, Dayanghirang lauded the efforts of the Army, the police, and all agencies working together to achieve the elusive peace.

“Peace and development are our twin goals. We cannot have one without the other, so I am asking everyone to unite and help each other,” he said.

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