April 17, 2024
IMPROVING PEACE AND ORDER — The military’s Northern Luzon Command presented remarkable achievements in peace and security during the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict briefing of Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security for the Cordillera on Feb. 19 in Baguio City. The report said there is significant improvement in maintaining peace and security in the Cordillera. — AFP photo

The Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-Elcac) remains committed in ensuring sustainable peace and bringing development to remote communities in the Cordillera, especially conflict-affected barangays.

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, RTF-Elcac Cordillera co-vice chairperson, presided over a meeting on Feb. 19 primarily for each cluster to provide updates and accomplishments reports for the guidance of the new Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (Cords) for Cordillera.

Transportation Sec. Jaime Bautista is the newly appointed C for Cordillera and will sit as the chairperson of the RTF-Elcac.

Along with Magalong as vice chairperson is Apayao Gov. Elias Bulut, Jr. as the current Regional Development Council chairperson.

The RTF-Elcac clusters are peace, law enforcement and development support; situational awareness and knowledge management, legal cooperation; strategic communication; poverty reduction, livelihood, and employment; international engagement, infrastructure, and resource management, local peace engagement; basic services; local government empowerment; and sectoral unification, capacity building, empowerment, and mobilization.

Updates on the implementation of the Elcac flagship programs such as the Support to Barangay Development Programs (SBDP), the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP), and the Capacitating Urban Communities for Peace and Development (Cucpo) were reported during the meeting.

The SBDP aims to bring sustainable development program to formerly conflict-affected communities and barangays in geographically isolated and displaced areas.

From 2021 to 2024, there are 124 SBDP barangay beneficiaries in the region.

The RCSP serves as a convergence of various government programs and initiatives aimed at addressing the root causes of insurgency and promoting peace and development in conflict-affected areas. To date, there are 146 RCSP barangay beneficiaries.

The Cucpo aims to enhance the delivery of basic services, local peace dialogue, and promote the welfare of sectoral groups in urban communities. So far, there are 41 beneficiaries.

All accomplishment reports, updates, and other concerns raised will be relayed to Bautista through DOTR-Cordillera Assistant Director, Atty. Jose Villacorta, who represented him in the meeting.

Magalong assured the Cordillera RTF-Elcac is united and committed, and through the Cords’ guidance, will collaborate to help ensure sustainable peace and bring development to all Cordillera communities down to the remotest barangays. – Carlito Dar