The Joint RDC-RPOC Full Councils Meeting was highlighted with the presence of
Cabinet Secretary Alexie Karlo B Nograles, the designated Cabinet Officers for
Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for CARAGA Region as the Presiding
Officer together with the Chairperson of RPOC 13, outgoing Governor of Agusan del
Norte and Congresswoman-Elect Hon Maria Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba, and
the Vice-Chairperson of RDC 13, Atty Bonifacio Uy, Regional Director of NEDA 13.
Also present were Co-Vice Chairperson of RPOC 13, Major General Franco Nemesio
M Gacal, Commander of 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division and Ms Lilibeth Famacion,
Regional Director of DILG 13, Head Secretariat of RPOC 13, Gov Santiago B Cane
Jr, Agusan del Sur, Gov Arlene J Bag-ao, Dinagat Islands, Gov Dale B Corvera,
Agusan del Norte, Gov Alexander T Pimentel, Surigao del Sur and Gov Francisco T
Matugas, Surigao del Norte. Several Mayors headed by Mayor Ronnie Vicente
Lagnada of Butuan City were also present during the activity.
The launching is the first of its kind and marked another milestone in the government’s
effort to end local communist armed conflict especially that CARAGA is one of the
priority regions of the National Task Force. As early as August 2018, NEDA 13, in
partnership with 402nd Brigade and cognizant stakeholders, particularly the RPOC
and RDC, spearheaded the formulation of the Peace and Development Zones (PDZs).
The PDZ recognizes the whole of nation approach in addressing the root causes of
insurgency and other forms of conflict and uses a conflict sensitivity lens in addressing
prevalent issues in the Conflict Affected Areas (CONAAs). With the directive of the
President, PDZ shall be the Region’s banner program to operationalize EO. 70 in order
to address the root causes of insurgencies, internal disturbances and tensions, and
other forms armed conflict and threats. It aims to promote the establishment of durable
peace and inclusive development. Several proposed programs and projects based on
identified needs will be implemented in focused areas now called PDZs. The PDZ has
become the template as banner program for the implementation of the Executive
Order in other Regions.
In his message, Secretary Nograles said, “I will be your bridge in Malacanang and will
ensure that the proposed programs and projects will have appropriate budget for
implementation”. He also stated that his function is to assist in articulating the region’s
concern; assist in seeking efficient and orderly resolution of problems; preside over
joint meetings of RDC and RPOC to harmonize peace and security and development
efforts; and ensure that all projects, programs and activities are well implemented.
In his statement, Col Maurito L Licudine, Commander of 402nd Infantry Brigade said,
“We are elated that finally, the RTF-ELCAC is created here in CARAGA as the
operationalization of the whole of Nation Approach in addressing the insurgency
problem. The RTF-ELCAC mechanism will synergize the inter-agency convergence
embodied in the creation of 12 Clusters addressing the various concerns that is fueling
the insurgency problem. In our part, we ensure our continuous commitment towards
any government counter – insurgency efforts and assume our full support to the RTF-
Likewise, Col Alllan D Hambala, Commander of 401st Infantry Brigade expressed his
excitement on the launching of RTF-ELCAC of CARAGA as it will pave the way for a
focused and harmonized agency intervention in addressing the insurgency problem.
Maj Gen Gacal on his part emphasized, “We are truly grateful for this activity and we
offer our full commitment and support to the RTF-ELCAC CARAGA Region. This will
further advance, synchronize and harmonize our convergence efforts to finally achieve
our common aspirations for lasting peace and inclusive development. We call on all
peace-loving people of CARAGA for your continued support since there are still a lot
of works to be done. Other regions will look up to CARAGA as the role model in the
implementation of our convergence efforts and this is a welcome challenge to all the
members of the Task Force.” “The same activity will be conducted in Bukidnon this
Friday, 28 June 2019 and just the same, we are excited of the launching”, Gacal
The launching of RTF-ELCAC is in line with President Duterte’s proclamation of
Executive Order No. 70 last December 28, 2019. It institutionalizes the Whole-of-
Nation Approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace, creating a national task
force to end local communist armed conflict, and directing the adoption of a national
peace framework. It provides an efficient mechanism as a government policy for the
attainment of inclusive and sustainable peace.
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