The seriousness of the national government in leading the people to end armed insurgency in Negros Oriental, was displayed no less, by the personal supervision of the national defense secretary, the DILG secretary and the National Security Adviser of President Duterte
The Negros Oriental Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NOTF ELCAC) was formally launched Wednesday with multisectoral attendance at the Provincial Convention Center led by the top guns of the government.
Negros Oriental Governor and NOTF ELCAC Chair Roel Degamo spearheaded the activity with Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Eduardo Año, Department of National Defense (DND) Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon as guests of honor.
DILG Sec Eduardo Año complimented the people of Negros Oriental for being the first province in the Visayas to organize its own provincial task force to end communist conflict under Gov.Degamo down to the grassroots level.
“This launching of NOTF ELCAC signifies your collective vision to establish a progressive future anchored on attaining genuine and lasting peace,” Sec. Año said.
NOTF ELCAC was created by virtue of Executive Order 18 – 2019 Gov. Roel Degamo. It is patterned from the National Task force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) which aims to bring together agencies of the government for a “whole of nation” approach to end the insurgency problem in the country.
Representatives from different sectors in the province, officials from line agencies comprising the NOTF ELCAC, local chief executives from some towns and cities in Negros Oriental, and employees of the provincial government attended the event.
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon explained that since the establishment of the NTF ELCAC by virtue of Executive Order 70 signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, there is now a shift from a military-based approach to civilian-led approach in countering insurgency.
“I just want to emphasize that the national task force is a whole of nation approach in prioritizing and harmonizing the delivery of basic services and social development packages in conflict areas and also in vulnerable communities. Since we are talking about vulnerable communities, the cooperation the local government executives is of primary importance,” Esperon elaborated.
“Through good governance, we can address the lingering problems that we have especially in the countryside, especially in impoverished areas,” Esperon further said.
The National Security Adviser believes that Negros Oriental is capable to solve local issues associated with insurgency problem in the province now that the provincial task force is in full gear.
On the other hand, Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana agrees that the government has come up with a winning strategy in solving insurgency through the NTF ELCAC and its counterparts in the provincial level.
Sec. Lorenzana also assured NegOrenses that the national task force is ready to provide support interventions to enhance the delivery of social services and usher in opportunities for those in living in the areas affected by insurgents.
Meanwhile, Gov. Roel Degamo reiterated that attaining lasting peace in the province cannot be achieved by guns and bullets.
“Effective and efficient delivery of basic services to the communities and people is the call of the times. As workers in the government, it is our call to maximize public service to the least, the lost, and the last,” Gov. Degamo emphasized.
“Our activity seals Negros Oriental’s commitment to end local armed conflict through good and transparent governance,” Gov. Degamo added.
Also part of the program is a People’s Dialogue with DILG Sec. Eduardo Año and the signing of the Commitment to Support the “Dagyawan saBarangay” with the agencies comprising the NOTF ELCAC.
“Dagyawan sa Barangay” is a series of Open Government and Participatory Governance town hall meetings that provide avenues for productive, valuable, sincere and visible engagement between the government and the citizens at the grassroots level to ensure access to frontline government services and vital programs and projects.
Another highlight of the NOTF ELCAC launching was the awarding of cash assistance to two former rebels who returned to the folds of government under the Enhanced Comprehensive Livelihood Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the DILG.
Each rebel returnee received a ceremonial check with the amount of P65, 000 and additional cash incentive from the provincial government. (By JENNY TILOS/PIA7-Negros Oriental)