With the goal of institutionalizing the culture of collaboration and synchronization for sustainable and inclusive peace, the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict 1 (RTF-ELCAC 1) gathered for the 2nd Phase Summing-Up Activity at Ynad’s Place Hotel and Resort, San Fernando City, La Union and virtually on April 8, 2022.

RTF-ELCAC 1 Members attend 2nd Phase of Summing Up Activity conducted on April 8, 2022

The activity focused on the discussion of the progress of implementation of the ways forward and targets of the taskforce and its clusters identified during Phase 1 of the Summing-Up activity on February 17, 2022. The challenges encountered and foreseen in the implementation of the ways forward, and the recommendations to address them to ensure sustained attainment of the overall impact of the ELCAC efforts even beyond the Duterte Administration were also discussed. The National Economic and Development Authority Region 1 (NEDA RO1), as head of the RTF-ELCAC Technical Working Group presented the overall report for the task force while the heads of the 12 Lines of Effort. The clusters presented the report for their respective clusters.

National Security Council (NSC) Undersecretary Vicente M. Agdamag, representing Sec. Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Region 1 Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS), led the summing-up activity which was attended by the RTF-ELCAC 1 members. Usec Agdamag underscored in his opening message the role of good governance in achieving victory against community insurgency and claimed that the task force is close to victory even before the end of President Duterte’s term. He also emphasized the significance of coordination, convergence, and harmonization in the Whole-of-Nation Approach. Furthermore, he stated that, as a result of the declaration of Region 1 under state of stable internal peace and security, the region could focus more on development projects. He also acknowledged some of ELCAC’s accomplishments in the region, such as the declaration of Communist Party of the Philippines–New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as persona non-grata by all the municipalities and cities in the region, and thousands of barangays supporting RTF-ELCAC 1.

The activity was followed by the Kapihan sa Ilocos which was spearheaded by the Strategic Communication Cluster led by the Philippine Information Agency Region 1 (PIA 1). Officials from the NSC, Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Army (PA), NEDA and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) served as resource persons who provided information on the ELCAC programs and projects implemented in the region.

The RTF-ELCAC TWG conducted also a short meeting to discuss the proposed creation of the Regional People’s Council as part of the institutionalization efforts of Executive Order 70 and the Barangay Development Program updates.