February 1, 2023

The involvement of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) is critical in attaining an inclusive and sustainable peace and to address the decades-long communist rebellion in the country, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government-Cordillera.

“The unequivocal support of the youth to the national government’s whole-of-nation approach in eliminating insurgency reflects on their important role in peace-building,” said DILG Regional Director Marlo Iringan during an orientation attended by 188 SK officials on Executive Order 70 that institutionalized the whole of nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace and created the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

Among the topics discussed were NTF-ELCAC Joint Memorandum Circular 2019-01, communist terrorist group youth and student recruitment strategies, and the Retooled Community Support Program.

Of those who attended, 74 are from Abra, 19 from Apayao, 68 from Baguio/Benguet, 17 from Ifugao, six from Kalinga, and four from Mountain Province.

Meanwhile, P3.3 million worth of assistance has been given so far in 2020 to former rebels in the region under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

Iringan said there are three E-CLIP halfway houses located in Apayao, Baguio, and Ifugao are ongoing construction, in addition to the halfway houses constructed in Abra, Kalinga, and Mountain Province.

National Intelligence Coordinating Agency Regional Director Alden Masagca said they will continue providing and disseminating timely and accurate peace and security situations.

“We will also continue to conduct orientation on the youth and students’ recruitment to boost their awareness  on what is really happening in our society – that no one is gaining good in joining the rebel groups,” he said.

Masagca also urged the parents of the youth to be more vigilant on the different propaganda of terrorist groups posing as organizations on a daily basis. – Press release