SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – The Regional Development Council in the Ilocos Region (RDC-1) has attested that the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) funded projects and programs boosted the anti-insurgency efforts in the region.
Vigan City Mayor Juan Carlo Medina, Ilocos RDC chairperson, said with the whole of nation approach to end armed conflict institutionalized through Executive Order 70, the armed communist terrorist fronts in the region particularly in Ilocos Sur province, have been dismantled.
“We hope that in next quarter or two quarters, Ilocos Sur will be insurgency-free,” he said during a forum hosted by the Philippine Information Agency in Ilocos Region on Thursday afternoon here.
Medina said because of these projects, insurgency in the province was curbed and more rebels have surrendered.
“In 2020, 18 former rebels surrendered and given assistance worth PHP1.1 million including reintegration activities and livelihood projects. In the first quarter of this year, 11 former rebels surrendered and were given assistance worth PHP400,000,” he said.
He added that 30 projects have been accomplished in the region in 2020 through the different national government agencies.
“There were infrastructure projects, farm to market roads, irrigation systems, training, and support, that have helped the region especially Ilocos Sur,” Medina said.
Two villages in Ilocos Sur province have also received projects this year under the Barangay Development Program (BDP).
“The projects include school buildings, farm to market roads, farmers’ livestock trading, technical-vocational training, assistance to indigent residents, and the other barangay also got a barangay health center,” he said.
Medina reiterated the need for these projects to reach residents in far-flung barangays.
“Through NTF-ELCAC, these services from education to economic through the roads and farmers reach the residents,” he said.
Meanwhile, National Security Adviser (NSA) Hermogenes Esperon Jr. in the same forum, said that next year, 27 barangays will also receive PHP20 million funding from NTF-ELCAC. Hilda Austria / PNA – northboundasia.com