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EO 70 a gamer changer vs communist insurgency – Abalos

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE (PIA) – Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. underscored that Executive Order No. 70 is a game changer in addressing communist insurgency in the country.

During the Support to Barangay Development Program Summit 2022, he pressed that the whole-of-nation approach in ending local communist armed conflict has concretized the view of insurgency as a broader social, economic concern instead of purely security and military.

“Communist insurgency is a tragic cycle. We knew that we were doing something to protect our people, but it is never enough. The true solution is going to the roots and cause of the problem… Wars cannot be won by arms alone. Wars are won by the hearts of the people,” he said.

He added that it has prevented the loss of lives in the war and the rise of new armed recruits and laid solutions to insurgency-related issues including poverty, social inequality, and historical injustices.

At present, Abalos shared that the government is leading programs on the responsive delivery of basic services, social inclusivity, and active participation of the sectors of the society to pursue the country’s peace agenda.

“We are working hard in ensuring that all barangays, cities, municipalities, and provinces institutionalize the peace agenda in their plans and pursue programs and activities that will help facilitate the responsive delivery of basic services. With the whole-of-nation approach working at the very core of the things we do, we can help more communities,” he stated. 

The number of active communist guerilla fronts declined to five in 2022 from 89 in 2016.

Over 611 former rebels surrendered and received about P45,790,023 million worth of assistance covering livelihood, education, housing, medical, and other social services crucial to their reintegration in the society.

To sustain these feats, Abalos emphasized that the national government is conducting the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) which is a convergence mechanism for local government units (LGUs) for the identification of issues and needed interventions in their localities.

“Under this, our barangays and various agencies are helping each other to address the identified issues. We are having dialogues and open platforms so that all sectors will be heard… We saw how effective it is in enjoining the people to take part in local governance,” he said.

Over 3,207 far-flung and cleared barangays have undergone the different phases of RCSP to date.

In addition, Abalos shared that the government is also offering the Support to Barangay Development Program (SBDP) which funds the infrastructures and social development packages of the LGUs.

“These projects are making a huge difference in the lives of the beneficiaries. We are able to bring their products to the markets fast. In times that they have medical emergencies, there are health stations ready in their barangays. The children do not need to walk for hours to go to school,” he mentioned.

Per records, 1,019 or 43.9 percent of the 2,319 projects identified by 822 barangay beneficiaries of the SBDP in 2021 are already completed.

About 1,658 or 89.9% of the 1,724 projects identified by the 1,406 barangay beneficiaries in 2022 already have their funds released.

With this, Abalos urged local government officials across the country to continue providing an honest and reliable service to all Filipinos.

“Let us protect our communities from the threats of these peace spoilers. No Filipino should fear for themselves and for their children. I enjoin you to carry the best practices we have learned and apply it to our own communities,” he added.

The secretary highlighted that the country’s accomplishments in the past years attest to the progress in attaining peace and order against the 53-year communist insurgency. (CLJD/JLDC-PIA 3)

In his message during the Support to Barangay Development Program Summit 2022, Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. underscores that Executive Order No. 70 is a game changer in addressing communist insurgency in the country. (Paul John B. Lopez/PIA 3)

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Jag Lyra Costamero

Region 3

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