By Jemin B. Guillermo
ILOILO CITY, March 13 (PIA) – The government will pour in millions of pesos worth of programs and services in the pursuit of its peace agenda.
Deputy Director General Rufino Lopez, Jr. of the National Security Council (NSC)/National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) said each of the communist terrorist groups-cleared barangays in Region VI will be receiving P20 million worth of projects this year.
Lopez, who was recently here during the meeting of the Western Visayas Regional Task Force ELCAC Technical Working Group, said the programs, activities and projects for each cleared barangay include the farm-to-market road, schools building, water and sanitation to include potable water supply, small water impounding project, and sanitation, among others; national greening program, health stations, and electrification.
Included also in the package of programs for the Barangay Development Fund for cleared barangays are crops, livestock and fisheries projects of the Department of Agriculture, projects of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, projects under the Department of Information and Communications Technology as well as those from other agencies like Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU).
Lopez said that each threatened barangay will also be appropriated P1.5 million worth of programs and projects.
Western Visayas has a total of 74 cleared barangays during the period 2016 to 2019, of which 35 were influenced and 39 were less-influenced. During the said period, there were also 333 communist-terrorist group-threatened barangays in Western Visayas, of which 1 is in Aklan, three in Antique, 37 in Capiz, 80 in Iloilo and 212 in Negros Occidental.
Earlier, President Rodrigo R. Duterte has issued EO 70 that institutionalizes the Whole-of-Nation Approach to pave the way for collective participation and action in harmonizing government development efforts and services to support, facilitate and pursue the country's peace agenda.
Under the whole of government approach and Whole-of -Nation approach, all national government agencies, local government units and other private and non-government organizations are to converge all development efforts and support to pursue peace and development in the countryside. (JBG/PIA6)