The Development Communications Support Committee (DevCom SuCom) of the Regional Development Council I (RDC-1) spearheaded the conduct of a virtual orientation on Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program, Ending Local Communists Armed Conflict (ELCAC), and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) last June 28, 2021 via Zoom.

The event aimed to orient stakeholders and deepen their understanding on the initiatives of the government, and instill wider awareness on the shared goals of these initiatives with national and regional plans and policies and their importance to the development of the region. The orientation is part of the implementation of the RDC’s Integrated Communication Plan.

Mr. Chris Paul A. Mongalini of the National Housing Authority (NHA) discussed the BP2 program. He presented a short overview of the program and reported the status of its implementation. As for Region 1, Mr. Mongalini said that as of May 10, 2021, the BP2 secretariat received 3,404 applications. Four validated BP2 applicants will be receiving housing assistance in existing NHA projects in the region. Likewise, the BP2 Council is encouraging local government units (LGUs) who intend to receive BP2 applicants to officially write the BP2 Secretariat together with the contact details of their focal person/s and their health safety protocols.

Meanwhile, LTC Mario Jose Chico, Philippine Army (Ret.) of the National Task Force to End Local Communists Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) discussed the salient features of Executive Order No. 70 (EO 70) which institutionalized whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace. He also informed the participants of the accomplishments per cluster and other ELCAC-related updates in the region.

Relatedly, BGen. Joel Alejandro C. Nacnac of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) provided an overview of International Humanitarian Law. He related this to the current efforts of the agency in support of EO 70. Mr. Mongalini added that NHA also have efforts in support of EO 70 and their focus is on the Housing Assistance Program for former rebels.

Finally, Dr. Eric Sibayan of the Department of Health Center for Health and Development (DOH CHD-1) presented the COVID-19 updates in the region. He also provided the status of COVID-19 vaccination in Region 1. According to him, as of June 27, 2021, 245,879 individuals have received their first dose while 78,961 already received their second dose.

A total of 143 participants from Regional Line Agencies (RLAs), Local Government Units (LGUs), academe and media attended the event. The Philippine Information Agency Region I (PIA-1) as the lead of the DevCom SuCom facilitated the event, in coordination with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Office 1.