CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Monday encouraged government employees to extend their patience while implementing programs addressing the root causes of insurgencies in the countryside.
Secretary Andanar led the meeting of the Northern Mindanao Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC X) here, where he underscored government assistance undertaken amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While we were unprepared, with persistence and determination and the blessing of our Almighty, we have been able to address and continue to attend to the various consequences of COVID-19. We emerged stronger and more resilient because of the Filipino bayanihan spirit,” he said
“I encourage everyone to be more patient, considerate, and caring to one another especially to the public we serve. We have to create positive changes in our society especially in improving the lives of the least, the weak, the poor, and the unreachable, which I believe is our ultimate purpose in life,” he added.
The meeting outlined efforts and delivery of services of regional line agencies, including the creation of the Northern Mindanao Regional Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Action Plan, the updated Regional Development Investment Program 2017-2022 and FY 2022 Annual Investment Program of the Security Sector; and the Updated Regional Development Investment Program 2017-2022 of the Security Sector.
The committee also discussed the status of the CAPDev initiatives enrolled in the web-based geospatial technology IPALAMDAG for the last quarter of the year, and updates on the One Map for Conflict Resolution of Tenurial Claims.
IPALAMDAG stands for Innovative Platform for Programs, Projects, Activities’ (PPAs) Location Assessment, Monitoring, Investment Programming, and Budgeting for Development Planning and Governance.
Continuous aid for increasing number of rebel surrenderees
In the same meeting, the Department of the Interior and Local Government Region 10 (DILG 10) said that additional funds have been realigned for the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) in response to the increasing number of rebel returnees.
DILG Regional Director Arnel Agabe bared that they have requested the Department of Budget and Management for this and a partial requested fund has already been downloaded through DILG Central Office.
“The E-CLIP appropriations at the DILG Central level is already exhausted by as early as the middle of this year. That is why we, DILG region 10 and the Department, already requested the Department of Budget and Management for the realignment of our funds of our PPAs so we could provide funding for the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program,” he said.
“Upon approval by Malacañang, a portion of our submitted request for E-CLIP funding allocation have already been downloaded. This is the reason why we have started again to give the necessary assistance to our former rebels,” he added.
The E-CLIP is an initiative to restore the allegiance to the government of former members of the communist terrorist group New People’s Army (NPA) and provide them better opportunities.
“A considerable number of surrenderees have already been provided with the necessary DILG-administered package of financial assistance,” he said.
“Many lives have already been transformed from being wanted by the government or from being pursued by our government law enforcement agencies and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to being free again and now living with the hope that their aspirations will be realized,” he added.
As of December 7, 2020, DILG 10 has already distributed around P12 million to more than 240 former rebels.
A ceremonial awarding of financial assistance was conducted for 5 former rebels who surrendered to the authorities in Misamis Oriental.