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Galvez to RTF-ELCAC members: Continue excellent work started

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga (PIA) -- Members of the Central Luzon Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) were urged to continue the excellent work started in addressing the decades-long insurgency.
 
Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security 3 Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said what has been accomplished by RTF-ELCAC in the last three years is truly remarkable.
 
“As I look back on the meetings, conferences and consultations we held over the last three years, I could say that we have a come a long way in addressing the decades-long communist insurgency in our country through this task force,” Galvez recalled during the 2nd quarter RTF-ECLAC meeting.
 
“From the policies, programs and plans we have formulated, to the various peacebuilding interventions we have carried out, I am pleased to see that our efforts to make an impact on the lives of our beneficiaries are now bearing fruit,” he furthered.
 
Last month, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) and Armed Forces of the Philippines conducted a seven-day peace orientation for 48 former rebels (FRs) in Central Luzon.
 
“During the activity, we heard inspiring testimonies from the FRs on how the National Task Force ELCAC (NTF-ELCAC) changed their lives. One participant even said that he hopes the incoming administration will continue the implementation of NTF-ELCAC so that his former comrades will also reap the benefits of peace. Hearing these stories from the FRs themselves should inspire us to continue the excellent work we have started,” he shared.
 
He commended RTF-ELCAC for the accomplishments made over the past three years as these are the results of decisive and coordinated actions especially the three sub-clusters namely Governance and Development, Legal and Intelligence Operations, and Peace and Security.
 
“Through close collaboration among member-agencies, local government units, and the private sector, we achieved our objectives with the best positive results,” he emphasized.
 
“We all know that there is still much work to be done, as we prepare for the transition to the new administration. But right now, let's give each other a pat on the back, as we have managed to rise above the challenges we continue to face in our areas of coverage. This is due to our steadfast commitment and unwavering resolve to carry out our mission,” Galvez furthered.
 
Moving forward, the cabinet official urged members to sustain localized peace engagements and peacebuilding work with the implementation of a comprehensive transformation program that will cut across all levels of society.
 
“We shall focus on harmonizing our interventions with local peace stakeholders to provide a holistic and convergent delivery of initiatives to address the needs of former rebels, their families and communities,” he said.
 
“We shall also continue bridging the gaps in all our initiatives so that they will have a greater impact among the people we serve. Towards this, we continue to look forward to the able leadership of our Provincial Governors in integrating local efforts on peace, reconciliation and unity,” Galvez added.
 
With the expanded mandate of OPAPRU through Executive Order No.158, local efforts on peace, reconciliation and unity shall be consolidated, integrated and harmonized so that the cycle of armed conflict can be put to an end.
 
Likewise, to promote community resilience, bring about good governance, and transform the lives of former rebels and their families into peaceful and productive citizens.
 
The meeting ended with the awarding of Plaques of Appreciation to the Provincial Task Forces of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales as well as local task forces of the highly-urbanized cities of Angeles and Olongapo.
 
Citations were also given to several national government agencies for serving as cluster leads in the RTF-ELCAC.
 
They include Department of the Interior and Local Government, Army 7th Infantry Division, Police Regional Office 3, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Philippine Information Agency, Department of Public Works and Highways, and National Economic and Development Authority.
 
And lastly, RTF-ELCAC recognized its peace partners namely Kabataan Kontra Droga at Terorismo, National Cadre Team/1st Area Cadre Team, OPAPRU consultant Abraham Claro Casis, and Galvez. (CLJD-PIA 3)

Regional Development Council Chairperson and Bataan Governor Albert Garcia (left) and Regional Peace and Order Council Chairperson and Zambales Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. (right) confer the plaque of recognition to Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity and Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. (middle). (Paul John Lopez/PIA 3)

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Carlo Lorenzo Datu

Assistant Regional Head

Region 3

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