The Joint Regional Development Council-Regional Peace and Order Council (RDC-RPOC) 1 endorsed the proposed Programs, Activities, and Projects (PAPs) for 17 focus barangays during its 4th Quarter 2020 virtual meeting on December 22, 2020. The identification of focus barangays was conducted through the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) led by the Philippine Army.  Community consultations were conducted to identify the needed PAPs for the focus barangays. 

The Joint Regional Development Council-Regional Peace and Order Council 1 convenes on December 22, 2020 via Zoom.

The focus barangays, which are categorized as Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) less-influenced barangays, include the following barangays in Ilocos Sur: Bugnay and Tablac, Candon City; Legaspi, Galimuyod; Baluarte, Lucbuban, San Tiburcio, Sorioan, and Ubbog, Salcedo; Buliclic, Conconig East, and Suagayan, Sta. Lucia; Camanggaan, Pidpid, San Antonio, and San Jose, Sta. Cruz; Poblacion, Suyo; and Nagbettedan, Sto. Domingo.  The proposed PAPs address the following concerns: socio-economic and infrastructure support; peace and order and public safety; health and nutrition; youth development and empowerment; empowerment of the marginalized sector; and governance and administrative concerns. The PAPs were endorsed to the concerned government agencies for funding, while barangays Baluarte in Salcedo and Nagbettedan in Sto. Domingo were included in the National Task Force – End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) support to Barangay Development Program (BDP).

The Joint RDC-RPOC 1, also dubbed as the Regional Task Force (RTF)-ELCAC 1, performed well in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic as shown in the CY 2020 Accomplishment Report presented during the Joint RDC-RPOC 1 meeting.  The RTF-ELCAC 1 along with its 12 Clusters and Local Task Forces (LTFs) worked together in pursuing peace and development in conflict-vulnerable and affected communities through the Whole of Nation Approach and good governance.  The efforts of the RTF-ELCAC 1 led to the neutralization of the CTGs in Ilocos Sur and increased withdrawal of support to CTGs as shown in the regional situation updates presented during the meeting.

The task force likewise continued to support the activities of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID) to fight COVID-19.  This is to ensure that the current pandemic will not provide the CTGs the opportunity to exploit the vulnerable groups in the society.

Sec. Hermogenes C. Esperon, Jr., Chairperson of the RTF-ELCAC 1, urged the members to continue working together in ending local communist armed conflicts. This call is also in support to the attainment of a “high-trust society” as part of the country’s Ambisyon Natin 2040. #Zenaida L. Garcillan