Lianga, Surigao Del Sur--- The Local Government Unit (LGU) of Lianga led by Mayor Novelita M. Sarmen bagged the Retooled Community Support Program Best Practices (RCSP) Award in the CARAGA Regional Level while the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion’s 9th Special Forces and 8th Special Forces Companies were Regional Awardees for Best RCSP Implementing Partner for Non-Government Agency Category (NGA) for exemplifying the Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in the conflict affected-areas of Lianga, Surigao Sur and Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur respectively during the RCSP Awarding Ceremony held on Dec. 21, at the Balanghai Hotel and Convention Center, Butuan City by the Department of Interior and Local Government 13.
“Even prior to the approval of the National Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) budget, local ELCAC task force in our Municipality already started and initiated to implement the Whole-of-Nation Approach to address the root causes of NPA terrorism in the conflict-affected IP communities of Andap Valley Range in Surigao del Sur,” Datu Constancio Duhac, Lianga Tribal Chieftain, said on his statement today.
“Sitio Simowao in barangay Diatagon, Lianga was a former NPA terrorist stronghold where NPAs can freely roam and use the tribe to do some supply and logistic errands to sustain their forces. But with the tangible effect of the NTF-ELCAC through the RCSP and CSP, our IP community became free from NPA Terrorist influence,” Duhac, added.
The establishment of the DepEd IP schools of living tradition (DepEd-SLT) through the aid of the Surigao del Sur Provincial government, local chief executives who chaired their respective ELCAC Local Task Forces countered NPA recruitment of NPA –linked schools of Tribal Filipino Program in Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) and Alternative Learning Center for Livelihood and Development (ALCADEV).
The active involvement of the Poverty Reduction Livelihood Development Cluster (PRLEC) of ELCAC chaired by TESDA provided livelihood, leadership skills training to empower the IP peoples’ organizations. The Basic Services Cluster to include DSWD provided IPs various basic needs and numerous LGU Serbisyo Caravans have flooded the IP communities because of the rehabilitated farm-to-market roads which increased the IP communities’ accessibility and economic activities.
Other development includes the electrification of selected sitios and the establishment of Patrol Bases to secure the IP communities from NPA attacks on IP leaders and the neutralization of most wanted CPP-NPA target personalities by the Peace, Law Enforcement and Development Support Cluster where AFP and PNP belong.
Mayor Novelita M. Sarmen expressed her gratitude for the award and for the development brought by the NTF-ELCAC programs and initiatives particularly in the affected barangays.
“NTF-ELCAC programs exemplified in RCSP are rays of hope for our continuing quest towards a genuinely peaceful and developed municipality of Lianga,” Mayor Sarmen, said.
Lieutenant Colonel Joey B Baybayan, 3SFBn Commanding Officer also thanked the support of LGU partners who have fully recognized their roles in ending NPA terrorism in the region.
“We thank the civilian bureaucracy, particularly the active members of the Local ELCC Task Forces in CARAGA region. They are actually the “main effort” in eradicating NPA terrorism because the delivery of basic and social services will address the issues in the conflict-affected areas often exploited by the NPA cadres to recruit,” Lieutenant Colonel Joey B Baybayan, 3rd Special Forces Battalion Commander, said.
Surigao Del Sur Government led by Governor Alexander T. Pimentel, who is also the CARAGA Peace and Order Council Chairman, with the local chief executives from various municipalities and barangays and the Regional Development Council Social Development Committee led by Bayugan City Mayor Kirk A. Asis have been very vocal and active in their support to NTF-ELCAC and have courageously declared the CPP-NPA-NDF as persona-non-grata in the whole Surigao Sur province.
Meanwhile, NTF-ELCAC has 12 clusters line of efforts where all government peace and development programs are anchored to address the root causes of insurgency. DILGs’ RCSP and AFPs’ CSP are some of the mechanisms to implement NTF-ELCAC programs in the conflict-affected areas.
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